Mindfulness for healthy ageing

Never in our lifetimes has mental health been more of a challenge or more important to older people than during the current pandemic.

Regular mental stimulation along with moderate exercise and a nutritious diet can help to prevent and slow the progression of many age-related neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. In addition, reducing stress and anxiety plays a significant role in maintaining good brain health.

Mindfulness activities can be used to promote a heathier brain. These can be done from your own home (useful, in a pandemic!) Some of the best include:

  • Deep Breathing – diaphragmatic breathing improves blood pressure and circulation, relieves stress and lowers the heart rate.
  • Raisin exercise – focus your attention on one object i.e. a raisin. Pretend you have never seen it before and describe its qualities - look, smell, feel, taste. This is particularly good for those already living with memory loss or cognitive conditions.
  • Body scan – great for self-awareness. Notice how each part of your body feels, picking up on any tension and relaxing it slowly.

Others include listening to calming music, therapeutic colouring and keeping a daily journal to pen your feelings.

At Heydays, we offer specialist care for those with dementia or neurological conditions.

We’re currently supporting a number of clients who suffer with dementia and during these difficult times, consistency of care is paramount.  Having one primary carer and keeping a routine allows clients to maintain trusted relationship and avoid undue stress.

We’ve also continued to run home-based creative workshops that engages clients and their carers in a communal activity, helping to stimulate their minds and keep morale up. This month, we’ll be making Valentine’s decorations and the winning team will be treated to a M&S dine in for two meal.

If you’re supporting a loved one or older relative suffering with dementia and would like some help or advice, please contact a member of our team on 015395 52548 or 01229 808023.