Studying aged care? The benefits of mindful activities for the elderly
As an aged care worker, empowering older Australians to enjoy a fulfilling life at their age only one part of your job – you’ll also be tasked with looking after their mental and spiritual wellbeing as well.
During your aged care course in Melbourne, you’ll have learned about the importance of supporting continued independent living, as well as techniques to keep residents in high spirits.
However, you can take this a step further with mindfulness techniques. How can you use these techniques during your career in aged care?
Mindfulness is a bit hard to explain, but we’re going to try anyway!
Essentially, mindfulness is all about purposefully bringing one’s attention to the present.
It’s about tuning out anxiety, the past and the future in favour of putting oneself completely in the moment.
It’s about focusing on what you’re directly experiencing, and helping to manage and accepting thoughts, ideas and feelings.
Mindfulness allows one to calmly acknowledge their feelings and thoughts – something that can be incredibly powerful when it comes to maintaining a healthy mental state.
By bringing mindfulness activities into your aged care facility, you can help residents…
While your residents may no longer have to worry about work-related dilemmas like you do, they may still have a lot on their minds.
A state of mindfulness can help reduce stress in a number of ways.
According to some research, mindfulness may help ease anxiety, and help them focus their attention on something other than the practitioner and the stressor.
In some cases, it can even give practitioners an alternative view or approach towards stressors.
Slow the progression of ageing
This research states that mindfulness activities can help slow cognitive decline in residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive impairments.
In particular, participants showed a reduction in cognitive decline, a reduction of stress and an increase in functional connectivity, as well as improved blood flow to the brain.
Mindfulness can safeguard residents’ physical health too
As we mentioned above, mindfulness can help reduce stress.
This in turn has many flow-on effects, such as lower blood pressure – something that directly affects residents’ physical health and wellbeing.
Mindfulness activities in aged care
Deep breathing exercises
Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as deep breathing exercises, can significantly improve one’s heart rate, blood pressure and reduce any anxiety.
What you may not know is that they can also promote mindfulness!
This exercise can help the aged focus on the air movement inside and outside of their lungs.
A slow yet steady pace can help them to focus and free their mind from anything that can cause anxiety, stress or distraction.
When it comes to mindfulness, meditation is the first activity that comes to mind (and for good reason, too – it requires almost no preparation or special tools).
Meditation is all about being present in the moment, and creating a space for yourself to think and breathe without judgement.
You can’t shut your brain off, just like how you can’t stop the negative thoughts.
That’s not what meditation is for – what it can do however is allow you to distance yourself from everything else that might be weighing on you.
Practicing mindfulness meditation is simple:
- Find a comfortable position or seat
- Set a time limit
- Focus on your breathing
- Realise when your mind starts to wander
- Don’t judge yourself too harshly if you wander – just come back
That’s all there is to it!
When setting up a meditation session at your aged care facility, you may have to lead residents.
Consider using soothing music and verbally guiding them through the meditation process.
While it may seem a little bit old-fashioned nowadays, journalling can help improve mindfulness.
Writing is a powerful way to slow down, check in with yourself and connect with your emotions.
You’ll be more able to connect to your environment, let go, express gratitude, and become more aware of your thoughts.
Not only that, but journalling also comes with a wide range of mental health benefits too!
Enrol in our aged care courses in Melbourne
Mindfulness activities can be a powerful tool in aged care settings – you can benefit your residents a number of ways by introducing mindfulness into your centre.
Of course, you still need a solid basis in both theory and practice before you can start working!
Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015)
In addition to teaching you how to support ageing residents, our aged care courses in Melbourne also focus on aged care holistically.
That means teaching you the importance of mental and spiritual well being.
The Certificate III in Individual Support teaches you the basics of home care and assistance, including in areas of mental and spiritual wellbeing.
With hands-on workshops and practical training, you’ll be able to provide personal support for the elderly and facilitate empowering activities such as mindfulness exercises for older people.
Learn more about our Certificate III in Individual Support
Certificate IV in Ageing Support (CHC43015)
Aiming for a managerial or leadership role within the aged care industry?
The Certificate IV in Ageing Support might be just what you need, giving you the training needed to lead others and take on a higher position within your aged care facility.
As part of this course, you’ll learn how to plan routines that support independence and holistic wellbeing, including mindfulness.
Learn more about our Certificate IV in Ageing Support
Want to know more about our aged care courses in Melbourne?
All you have to do is give us a ring!
Jumpstart your career and become a well-rounded aged care worker by enrolling in one of our aged care courses in Melbourne.
In addition to classroom learning and practical workshops, our aged care courses also include a mandatory work placement that allows you to not only practice your learning, but also get a taste of what your career might look like.
Get in touch with us today, and our friendly team will be more than happy to assist you.