Senior Care Blog Wayland and Weston

Caregiving Tips: Meditating with Your Aging Loved One

By Denise Roskamp

Meditation is a highly beneficial practice for both caregivers and the seniors they care for. It helps the caregiver to relieve their stress, and it helps the senior to retain their health. It helps both of them improve their mood and avoid anxiety and depression as well!

Instead of each person meditating alone, though, meditation could be a great activity to do together. It can be nice to both be able to relax and focus on yourselves, while also being near each other. This can be great for caregivers who are hesitant to take time away from caring for their loved one to care for themselves, and it can be great for seniors who might feel strange meditating on their own.

Mediation is a simple practice: all you need is a place to sit or lie down, some peace and quiet, and your breath.

To begin, you and your senior can either sit or lie down in a quiet room, and relax your body. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath in, then let it out to expel any tension. Then, focus on your breath as you both slowly breathe in, then breathe out, letting the rest of the world fall away as you both simply relax and let go of any stress or bad feelings you may have.

Depending on your preferences, you can listen to soothing music as you meditate, or simply sit in silence. You can also repeat a mantra to center yourselves if you’d like, or you can just focus on your breath going in, and coming out, going in, and coming out.

If things feel a bit awkward, it’s okay to laugh at yourselves – meditation doesn’t have to be serious! Just acknowledge the awkwardness and chuckle at yourselves, then try to focus again. If either of you find any other thoughts creeping through your mind as you try to relax, don’t panic or stress about it. Just notice the thought, and tell yourself that you can think about it again later.

If your bodies feel extra tense before you start meditating, it could be helpful to do a bit of stretching or yoga first. It is important, though, to help your loved one find a comfortable position for meditation before you begin, so that they don’t have to keep moving or get uncomfortable during the session. If they feel discomfort when lying flat, allow them to sit up. If their back often hurts if they sit upright for long periods of time, help them to find a position lying flat.

Your meditation session can be as long or as short as you both prefer. Meditation doesn’t have to last for hours to be effective, you can meditate for just five minutes if you’d like! Be careful not to go too long though, because one of you (or both of you) might fall asleep!

Meditation is a great way to center oneself, but it can also be a great activity do enjoy with someone else. Try it with the loved one you act as caregiver for, and you will both see great results!