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Spirituality and ageing – the role of mindfulness in supporting people with dementia to live well

Spirituality and ageing – the role of mindfulness in supporting people with dementia to live well Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the role that mindfulness meditation can play in supporting people with dementia to live well. Design/methodology/approach – This paper reviews the literature in a structured way, focussing first on the general effectiveness on mindfulness and then going on to assess its role in attention, emotion regulation, cognitive decline, physical changes in the brain, prevention, and quality of life. Findings – Spirituality has been defined as a process of personal transformation which in many cases can involve a blend of humanistic psychology and esoteric traditions. Meditation, even if practised in a secular fashion can be said to fit within this definition of spirituality. The paper reviews the evidence for the relevance of mindfulness meditation in supporting people to live well with dementia. Research limitations/implications – The evidence is not yet conclusive; however, there is nevertheless a growing body of evidence which suggests that this is a fruitful area for further research. Practical implications – There are numerous implications for practice: if sufficient self-reported benefit from the application of mindfulness to people with dementia to warrant this being offered more generally. If further research substantiates the quality of life benefits then this could be an important development to accompany early diagnosis of dementia. If mindfulness were found to have a preventative effect then that would be of huge practical importance. Social implications – Mindfulness gives people more control of their emotional and thought processes and therefore this could be a significant development for empowering people with dementia and their carers. Originality/value – This is one of the first times that the literature regarding mindfulness and dementia has been reviewed in a systematic way. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Working with Older People Emerald Publishing

Spirituality and ageing – the role of mindfulness in supporting people with dementia to live well

Working with Older People , Volume 19 (3): 11 – Sep 14, 2015

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1366-3666
DOI
10.1108/WWOP-11-2014-0038
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the role that mindfulness meditation can play in supporting people with dementia to live well. Design/methodology/approach – This paper reviews the literature in a structured way, focussing first on the general effectiveness on mindfulness and then going on to assess its role in attention, emotion regulation, cognitive decline, physical changes in the brain, prevention, and quality of life. Findings – Spirituality has been defined as a process of personal transformation which in many cases can involve a blend of humanistic psychology and esoteric traditions. Meditation, even if practised in a secular fashion can be said to fit within this definition of spirituality. The paper reviews the evidence for the relevance of mindfulness meditation in supporting people to live well with dementia. Research limitations/implications – The evidence is not yet conclusive; however, there is nevertheless a growing body of evidence which suggests that this is a fruitful area for further research. Practical implications – There are numerous implications for practice: if sufficient self-reported benefit from the application of mindfulness to people with dementia to warrant this being offered more generally. If further research substantiates the quality of life benefits then this could be an important development to accompany early diagnosis of dementia. If mindfulness were found to have a preventative effect then that would be of huge practical importance. Social implications – Mindfulness gives people more control of their emotional and thought processes and therefore this could be a significant development for empowering people with dementia and their carers. Originality/value – This is one of the first times that the literature regarding mindfulness and dementia has been reviewed in a systematic way.

Journal

Working with Older PeopleEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 14, 2015

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