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Senior Health: How to Start Meditating

By Cherie Coe, 8:00 am on

Since the benefits of regular meditation are so great, an increasing number of seniors are becoming interested in the practice. As with any new activity, meditating may seem daunting at first, but it’s actually quite simple, and anyone can do it. Here are a few tips from Jefferson County in-home care provider, Home Care Assistance, to help you or a senior loved one get started.

  1. Find a quiet place. Look for a room or setting where there is not much going on. Some street noise or chatter is fine, but it’s easier to start meditating in a quiet setting.
  2. Seek a comfortable position. Meditation can be done lying on a mat, sitting on a cushion on the floor, or sitting in a chair. Choose the most comfortable position or have a family member or caregiver help find the best position. It can help to have a bit of support during the first few meditating sessions.
  3. Set a timer. Beginning meditators often get anxious when they don’t know how long to sit for, so a timer can help. Find one with a soft or calming alarm. It is best to set it for 5 minutes at first, and progressively add 5 minutes as the practice becomes more comfortable.
  4. Assume a meditation position. Practitioners should face forward with eyes closed. Feet should be flat if seated or outstretched if on the floor. Palms should be open to the sky. If seated, it is recommended to sit tall with tummy tucked. There is no need to be absolutely erect when meditating. The goal is to assume a pose that is awake and alert, but this will be different for everyone depending on the limits of the body.
  5. Focus on the breathing. The practitioner should breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Take 3 slow breathes, and focus the mind on each one.
  6. Observe thoughts. Thoughts, worries, fears, and daydreams will inevitably come to the front of the mind. Never try to push them away. Instead, simply say hello to each one, acknowledge it, and go back to focusing on the breathing.
  7. End the session. When the alarm goes off, wiggle the fingers and toes and open the eyes. Slowly, the focus should be brought back to the surroundings.
  8. Set up a meditation schedule. To be a regular practitioner, a meditation schedule should be made. Start slowly at 5 minutes twice a day, and increase the meditation time by 5 minutes every 2 weeks.

At Home Care Assistance of Jefferson County, our holistic approach to senior care, The Balanced Care Method, focuses on meeting a senior’s physical, emotional, and cognitive needs. Meditation is a great way to help seniors achieve a sense of calmness and purpose, and can even have physical benefits such as reduced risk for health conditions.

To learn more about promoting senior health, reach out to an experienced Care Manager at 303-987-5992 and request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.