Alzheimers and Buddhist meditation

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by chris1123, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. chris1123

    chris1123 Registered User

    Feb 3, 2018
    13
    If a Buddha got Alzheimers, would you know? The real question being: if there is a core or kernel self that's independent of normal self, mind, memories and relationships, might a, say, 30-minute specially guided meditation session, singly or with a group, encourage and enable people with Alzheimers to let go of the struggle for a while and float. (Hindu meditation could be just as good, but it comes from a religion, which Buddhism doesn't.) Maybe it'd be impossible for some, but maybe it could help some.
     
  2. fortune

    fortune Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    97
    I used to take my mum to Buddhist meditation. I found it very good for stress, mum just went to sleep! But they were very nice people in the class and she enjoyed the tea and biscuits afterwards.
     
  3. chris1123

    chris1123 Registered User

    Feb 3, 2018
    13
    Thanks for your lovely reply. I suppose you wouldn't know if your mum was 'meditating' or not, but perhaps the setting calmed her at least.
     
  4. Hippichic

    Hippichic Registered User

    Nov 14, 2016
    14
    London
    I have been taking an online course in Mindfulness meditation, I believe its roots are from Budhism/Hinduism meditation. I find it helpful for myself and tried some of the guided meditation audio recordings with my mother. So we did some mindfulness meditation together, she seemed to enjoy it and get involved. I am going to try to pursue this with her in an attempt to make her feel better and do something else besides watching TV! She is 90 and has mild vascular dementia, mostly has memory problems.
     
  5. Mudgee Joy

    Mudgee Joy Registered User

    Dec 26, 2017
    408
    Female
    New South Wales Australia
    I did a course in mindfulness a few years ago - and while I am not particularly good at it - it is a great “go-to” when I get very sad , annoyed or depressed about my husbands dimentia . It helps soothe the mind a bit and while it seems sometimes odd, to just concentrate on your breathing , or to sounds, it puts you in the moment and that’s very helpful. Not in the future or past but just in the now.

    A simple exercise is to use your senses one at a time -
    1. look about you for a minute or two - notice in detail what is there - notice the small details and the big
    2 now close your eyes and feel what you can feel : your skin, your weight, your feet , the seat, warmth or coolness, the beeeze
    3 keep eyes closed and listen to any sounds close or far away- don’t judge just listen to the sounds
    4 keep your eyes closed and what can you smell or taste - sweet or metallic , etc

    Quite a few moments will go by and you will feel refreshed or a little more peaceful! Happy meditation M-joy :rolleyes:
     
  6. chris1123

    chris1123 Registered User

    Feb 3, 2018
    13
    Thanks for that, Hippichik. It's really good that you mother enjoyed it. I hope it will continue to help her - and you!
     
  7. chris1123

    chris1123 Registered User

    Feb 3, 2018
    13
    Thanks for that, Mudgee Joy. Your expertise is much appreciated. It's clear that it really helps you. Do you think that a version of it might help your husband, too?
     
  8. Mudgee Joy

    Mudgee Joy Registered User

    Dec 26, 2017
    408
    Female
    New South Wales Australia
    Oh I suspect my OH doesn’t need the help - he is very calm and generally content - he probably only needs a generous level of attention !! He is Very happy to be waited on - I think he has perfected it - just in time for this episode in life. But I asked him just now about meditation and he said - “.yes - I used to like meditation” he probably means prayerfulness - he’s a good catholic!

    But it sure does help me !!! :D
    And I might do it full time if I get D
     
  9. chris1123

    chris1123 Registered User

    Feb 3, 2018
    13
    Yes, my understanding is that the Christian tradition of meditation mainly involves 'contemplation'. This is practised in Buddhism, as well. I'd say that kind of meditation needs a degree of cognitive ability and concentration that might be more difficult for someone with advanced dementia than following your breath and being mindful of what youre feeling.
     
  10. chris1123

    chris1123 Registered User

    Feb 3, 2018
    13
    Also, I was thinking that a simple guided meditation might help people who have got to the stage where they're very agitated and unhappy.
     
  11. Mudgee Joy

    Mudgee Joy Registered User

    Dec 26, 2017
    408
    Female
    New South Wales Australia
    It would be a great suggestion for carer’s groups !
     
  12. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    I think if my husband tried meditation, he would just go to sleep. He can go to sleep in the middle of a crossword, watching TV, even in the surgery waiting room. Oh how I envy him!
     
  13. Mudgee Joy

    Mudgee Joy Registered User

    Dec 26, 2017
    408
    Female
    New South Wales Australia
    Yes my husband too sleeps easily / it’s really rare when he doesn’t .
    If I managed to get him to a movie or a concert I feel Embarrassed :( that he falls asleep - but now I wouldn’t wake him !!

    I think the meditation is much more useful for the carers.
    One of the lessons we had in mindfulness, which the conversation on TP reminded me - was when coming home - before you go inside - you should stop a minute, compose your thoughts and go in - in control. I tried it again today and my “entry’ was much more “relaxed” - (in appearance anyway :D . )
     
  14. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    66,404
    Kent
    I agree . :)
     
  15. Juliasdementiablog

    Juliasdementiablog Registered User

    Oct 23, 2017
    78
    Female
    Brighton
    I use meditation and breathing exercises to help my mother with her anxiety and stress. It helps me too. I have been amazed at the results, though always different, and not always able to move on from the anxiety. One time it was there the whole time and reappeared after the meditation.
     

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