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Mindfulness and the Elderly

Mindfulness and the Elderly
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Author(s): Srinivasan Venkatesan (All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, India)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 20
Source title: Handbook of Research on Clinical Applications of Meditation and Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Mental Health
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Sanjeev Kumar Gupta (All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8682-2.ch006

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Abstract

With growing life expectancy, age-related mental health issues are rising in the elderly. Whether normal aging or pathological senility, mindfulness practices are useful, economic, and accessible. The elderly experience many forms of anxiety with varying severity. There can be stress, anxiety, depression, and negative emotions. Quality of life and sleep, cognitive impairments, chronic pain, decreased social contacts are common concerns of the elderly. There is growing evidence that mindfulness practices mitigate their suffering. This chapter covers details on mindfulness-based tools for the elderly, their practices, exercises, and techniques. The recommended techniques are group-based, participatory, age-appropriate, and reflective. Given the vulnerability of the elderly, the chapter cautions about latent medico-legal and ethical issues in using mindfulness for the elderly. They must be blended with cultural, religious, moral, and spiritual elements to derive optimum benefits for the individual or small groups of such persons. A future road map is given.

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