Over the past two decades, mindfulness has gained increasing popularity and has been proposed as a potentially useful practice for an array of health conditions. The connection between the mind and body lies at the heart of mindfulness, which makes it a highly relevant therapeutic technique to consider. Ovation Communities’ Director of Research Dr. Christine Kovach and her team recently conducted a research study to determine the feasibility of mindfulness for older adults in long-term residential settings, and to examine differences in outcomes between mindfulness and cognitive activities.

The research team learned that during and 20 minutes after a mindfulness session people had less agitation, large decreases in feelings of discomfort and less negative emotion. The study demonstrated that mindfulness is feasible for older adults, even those with multiple chronic conditions and cognitive impairment, and can be conducted in a residential setting with positive benefits.

“Mindfulness focuses on using strengths within oneself to promote well-being, comfort and compassion, and has no side effects,” said Dr. Kovach. “We’ve found this simple tool can be particularly empowering, and we look forward to incorporating it more and more into our programming and daily life.”

The study sessions were led by Lisa Sattell who donated her time to this important project. The research results will be published in an upcoming issue of Research in Gerontological Nursing.