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Can Mindfulness Help People Living With Dementia?

With every dementia diagnosis comes change. This might take the form of a gradual transformation, or it could be a more sudden shift in life. Either way, considering a new future, one in which you’re living with dementia, requires some significant adjustments. And, as we know, change is rarely comfortable.

It is natural to feel overwhelmed with questions about what the future holds for you and your loved ones. Our Wayfinding Team are there to guide you every step of the way as you navigate your personal dementia journey. But focusing on the road ahead, planning for the future, and caring for life’s practicalities, while necessary, can make us feel:

  • Stressed

  • Anxious

  • Scared

  • Out of control

This is where the practice of Mindfulness can help.

What is Mindfulness?

As the name suggests, Mindfulness is the art of being able to be fully present and engaged in the moment. Leading hectic lives- especially ones where dementia plays a role, it’s all too easy to get lost in projections about the future, or veer off course whilst thinking about practicalities of the days ahead. The art (and it is an art) of Mindfulness is there to bring us back to the present- to notice the sounds, sensations and feelings that are passing through our bodies at the time. It harnesses our body’s natural ability to focus on the positive as opposed to the negative, or the unknown.

The practice of Mindfulness normally involves:

  • Meditation

  • Deep breathing

  • Relaxation in a calm space

  • Counting or focusing on a rhythm (like a heartbeat)

Why might Mindfulness help someone living with dementia?

Living with dementia can increase stress levels. It’s all too easy to be drawn into negative thought loops of ‘what happens when…?’. Of course, these questions are valid and our Wayfinding Team are available to help you find the answers you need. However, dwelling for too long in this space can start to feel unhealthy.

The changes we expect with any dementia diagnosis often place a strain on both individuals and families. The practice of Mindfulness can be hugely beneficial in alleviating some of this pressure and is a useful tool for supporting families to live well with dementia.

  • It can relieve stress and anxiety

  • It can support self-soothing

  • It can reduce confusion and disorientation

  • It can help improve sleep routines

  • It can calm your thoughts and generate an overall improved quality of life

When in a caring role it can help to de-escalate heightened emotions or confrontations and promote empathy. Being a carer for your loved one is hard. It’s important to recognise the physical and emotional impact of caring for someone living with dementia. Practicing regular Mindfulness is a way to relieve the stress and tension, not to mention the sadness, which are a natural part of many carer journeys.

At Sage House, many of our customers are already enjoying the benefits of regular Mindfulness sessions. Taking the time to nurture themselves from within- and look after their mental, as well as their physical health. This makes a significant difference towards positively living with dementia, wherever you may be on your path. Here’s what some of our customers had to say about their sessions:

  • “You can just forget about everything…which is wonderful”.

  • “It just relaxes you, and you realise what a stressful world we live in”.

You can find out about the timings of these sessions, as well as other activities on offer, here.


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