The Benefits of Yoga for Dementia Patients

“More than 55 million senior people suffer from dementia worldwide, with over 10 million new cases each year”, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). As a caregiver, you may be concerned about the future of your senior loved one with dementia.

There are few rare cases of recovery from dementia. Unfortunately, no treatment for dementia is discovered yet, and a single solution may not work because there are so many factors and so many reasons for memory loss problems.

However, a dementia diagnosis does not mean that your senior family will likely lose their memories overnight. Natural vitamins, meditation, and yoga are just a few of the things you may consider to help your loved one deal with dementia or other memory loss issues.

Can Dementia Be Cured Naturally?

As no treatment or single solution for dementia is discovered yet, therefore, it is very difficult to answer this question. However, several natural medicines, including Ginkgo Biloba, Omega-3 fatty acids, Ginseng, and Vitamins B12 and B9 can benefit those who are suffering from dementia.

So, what else can you do to help your loved one if natural supplements aren’t the most effective technique for preventing dementia? Several studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of yoga for preventing the growth of dementia or other memory loss symptoms, but can yoga truly help with dementia?

Yoga is the best solution that may be effective in lowering the risk factors for dementia. Chair yoga is the most suitable yoga exercise for senior people to get the many health benefits of yoga. This method of yoga is getting popular with a broader audience because this yoga is performed while sitting on a chair, even the weak older person or those with little flexibility can also practice it easily.

Benefits of Yoga and Meditations for dementia

Do you believe yoga can reduce the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s problem? Medical scientists from many research have discovered that meditation and yoga practice can help decrease stress hormones in the body.

This is important because stress hormones may create inflammation and have a deleterious influence on crucial brain areas that govern memory and cognition, such as the hippocampus.

Yoga and meditation can also benefit the brain by boosting neuroplasticity and assisting the brain in forming new connections. Recent research demonstrates a rise in the favorable brain and cognitive improvements with ongoing meditation and yoga practice.

As discussed above, Chair Yoga is the most appropriate yoga technique for senior people with disabilities or who can’t move their bodies easily.

The core benefits of chair yoga for senior people are: relaxing and developing stiff muscles,  reducing chronic pain and tension, and boosting circulation, it also reduces anxiety, lowers blood pressure, keeps joints healthy, enhances strength, and increases the ability to balance.

Exploring yoga for memory loss

You must explore the best yoga techniques to get the maximum benefits of yoga and meditation for your senior family member who is suffering from dementia.

Determining which yoga is best for increasing memory power in your loved one is a difficult process, one in which results might vary based on the individual and how much their dementia has grown.

For example, in recent research evaluating the effectiveness of chair yoga for dementia, adults suffering from moderate-to-severe dementia displayed an improved quality of life after participating in 30 to 45 minutes chair yoga sessions twice a week for 12 weeks.

Chair Yoga For Seniors With Dementia

Many caregivers and senior living facilities are encouraging chair yoga for their patients. Most of the research that is available to us supports that exercise is extremely beneficial to the function of our brains. For those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, exercising regularly shows improvements in cognitive functions, fine motor skills, posture, and more. As there are no proper treatments yet for the disease, exercise is a sure way to improve the quality of your loved ones’ lives.

Chair Yoga is the most comfortable and effective for mindfulness than other forms of yoga for senior people.

The Benefits of Yoga on the Body and Mind

  • it increases core stability, overall strength, and balance
  • it increases mobility and improves flexibility
  • increases oxygen level and grows lung capacity
  • it helps to promote feelings of well-being and reduce overall stresses
  • decrease blood pressure
  • it is possible for all levels of mobility to participate
  • gives meaning to every day through activity
  • creates a sense of physical and mental well being

The Latest Research on Chair Yoga for Seniors with Dementia

A recent study examined whether or not patients with moderate-to-severe dementia would benefit from chair yoga. The 8-week “Sit and Fit” program involved twice weekly 60-minute classes. First, there were 20 minutes of breathing (pranayama) to help center the mind. Next, they did 30 minutes of physical postures (asana). Each class finished with 10 minutes of guided meditation. All nine participants attended 100% of the classes and experienced remarkable changes. Furthermore, the authors of the study noticed increased balance and a greater general sense of well-being. In addition, they saw all patients complete “all aspects of the program, and did not lose interest in participation.” This is particularly interesting considering that most who suffer from Alzheimer’s or Dementia will experience greater difficulty while sticking to tasks. While this is a small sample size, this initial data is promising.

Be Prepared for Yoga Exercise

If you plan on bringing your loved one to a yoga session, make sure they are in suitable dresses. It is not recommended to use shoes during yoga practice, but that always poses the risk of slips and falls in seniors. Gripper socks or slip-resistant socks will allow them to participate properly as a yoga student while remaining safe. Make sure they have stretchy elastic waist pants so that they are not constricted when doing the poses.

Finally make sure they are comfortable, with clothes that will keep them covered even if they have to bend over or sit down. Be prepared with lots of water in case they need a break.

Even a sweater in case you enter a center with air conditioning. Always be prepared for it not to go well the first time. Often things might not work on the first try with patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s, so don’t be disheartened if it’s a bit rocky at first.

Chair Yoga Practice at Home

If you are the caregiver for your loved one and care for them at your residence, you can follow the instructions on these Youtube videos to learn about the Chair Yoga technique: 20-Minute Chair Yoga Video and 30-Minute Chair Yoga Video.

To start the practice of chair yoga, you will need access to a chair with sturdy backing. Put it in a place where there aren’t any sharp edges that anyone can fall into if they lose their balance. Make sure that the space is safe, and think about dedicating a portion of the room to yoga.

The way when you leave they can continue to practice safely if they choose to. Always have proper footwear close to the area, whether this be grip socks or booties with a slip-resistant sole. Something that’s easy for them to slip in and out of when they practice.

Practicing Chair Yoga with other senior members

Chair Yoga is available in many Senior Care Facilities such as the Lenity management communities. Many senior care facilities do have specific programs that are focused on yoga for seniors. Bringing your parent to one of those programs can be a great outing for them if they are living at home. Family yoga is also widely run throughout many city programs, you could have all of your family join. This is a great way to be doing something productive while spending time as a family.


More Posts