Feasibility and Pilot Testing of a Mindfulness Intervention for Frail Older Adults and People with Dementia

Research & Innovation

Mindfulness interventions have been beneficial for healthy adults and people dealing with a stressful medical or mental health diagnosis. We examined the feasibility of a mindfulness activity for older adults in long-term residential settings and examined differences in outcomes between a mindfulness and cognitive activity. The Present in the Now (PIN) intervention is a mindfulness intervention with three components: attentional skill exercises, body awareness activities, and compassion meditation.

This study demonstrated that mindfulness is feasible for older adults with multiple chronic conditions and cognitive impairment. Short-term positive changes in agitation, pleasure, anger, anxiety/fear, daytime wakefulness, and discomfort level were seen when participants were in the mindfulness arm of the study that were not present during participation in the cognitive activity. These findings are consistent with multiple studies showing a relationship between mindfulness activities, and decreased stress reactivity. Mindfulness focuses on using strengths within oneself to promote well-being, comfort, and compassion. The full study was published: Kovach, C. R., Evans, C. R., Sattell, L., Rosenau, K., & Gopalakrishnan, S. (2018). Feasibility and pilot testing of a mindfulness intervention for frail older adults and individuals with dementia. Research in gerontological nursing, 11(3), 137-150.