MINDFULNESS MEDITATION:
IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH IN
OLDER ADULTS
Kaitlin Thimann
MHLTHSCI 574: Health & Optimal Aging
December 16, 2012
INTRODUCTION
• Mindfulness meditation is
one tool that has become
increasingly popular to
improve mental health in
adults.
• Mindfulness meditation is
“rooted in Eastern religion
and philosophy, namely
Buddhism” (Bauer-Wu, 2010,
p. 36).
(Hover, n.d.)
MINDFULNESS
Helps
increase
mental
flexibility.
MOVING INTO AMERICAN MEDICINE
•
•
•
(Kabat-Zinn, n.d)
Mindfulness meditation moved into Western
medicine with the help from Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is a Professor of Medicine
and the founding Executive Director of the
Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health
Care, and Society at the University of
Massachusetts Medical School.
Jon Kabat-Zinn and his program were
featured prominently in the award-winning
PBS television series Healing and the Mind,
and the profound effects of this work have
begun to be strongly supported by a large
body of scientific research.
MENTAL HEALTH IN OLDER ADULTS


Depression affects more than 6.5 million of the 35 million
Americans aged 65 years or older (Duckworth, 2009).
In the United States, the annual economic, indirect cost
of mental illness is estimated to be $79 billion. Most of
that amount—approximately $63 billion—reflects the
loss of productivity as a result of illnesses (Fitzpatrick,
2006).
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION

Poor Physical Health

Loneliness & Isolation

Personal Loss
(Baden, Zefa, & Corbis, 2008)
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION

(Care from the Heart, 2007)
Poor Physical Health:

Physical disabilities creates
low mobility

Loss of independence; require
assistance to care for yourself

Feel burdensome to family
and friends
(Black Dog Institute, 2012)
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION

Loneliness & Isolation

Lack of close family ties
and close friendships

Living alone or in a
retirement/assisted
living facility

Little participation in
social activities &
community because of
physical illness or lack
of transportation
(Black Dog Institute, 2012)
(Smart, 2011 )
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION

Personal Loss

Loss of Independence

Loss of Health & Lifestyle

Experience death of loved ones
 Martial Partner
 Parents
 Siblings
 Friends
 Pets
(Black Dog Institute, 2012)
(Aanen, 2007)
PREVENTION & ALLEVIATION

Teach Wellness Prevention

Teach individuals skills to face & deal with life
challenges.

Teach skills to deal with moth mental and physical
health challenges.
TYPES OF MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

Mindful Breathing

Body Scan

Mindful Movement

Mindful Walking

Loving Kindness

Mindful Eating
CURRENTLY USED PRACTICES
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction:
Technique that helps individuals to take control of
their own health, both mental and physical.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
“Meditation-based intervention designed to reduce
recurrence in people with histories of relapsing
unipolar major depression” (Smith &
Senthinathan, 2007, p.346).
MINDFULNESS PRACTICE HAS BEEN
SHOWN TO DECREASE
 Anxiety
 Somatization
 Depression
 Hostility
(Flowers, n.d.).
Emailed Author of website for DATE
MINDFULNESS IMPROVES:
More effective skills in
managing stress
Helps to improve selfesteem
ADD More Positives
CONCLUSION
REFERENCES

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
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Aanen, S. (Photographer). (2007). Tyne cot cemetery. [Web Photo].
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/892543
Retrieved from
Baden, Zefa, Corbis. (2008).Depressed senior woman. [Web Photo].
Retrieved from
http://www.health.com/health/conditionarticle/0,,20188647,00.html
Black Dog Institute. (2012, Oct.). Depression in older people. Retrieved from
http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/Depressioninolderpeople.pdf
Care from the Heart. (Photographer). (2007). Elderly man wheelchair . [Web Photo].
Retrieved from http://www.carefromtheheartcapecod.com/
Duckworth, K. (2009, October). Mental illness. Retrieved from http://www.nami.org
Fitzpatrick, M. J. (2006). Mental illness: Facts and numbers. National Alliance on
Mental Health, Retrieved from
http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=About_Mental_Illness&Template=/Conten
tManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=53155
Flowers, S. (n.d.). Mindfulness-based stress reduction in medicine. Mindful Living
Programs, Retrieved from http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/relatedresearch.php
Hover, L. (Photographer). (n.d.). Old man meditating. [Web Photo]. Retrieved from
http://meditation-yoga-daily-news.com/beginners-guide-to-meditation-forhealth/old-man-meditating-2/
Kabat-Zinn, J. University of Massachusetts Medical School.(n.d.). [Web Photo].
Retrieved from http://www.umassmed.edu/Content.aspx?id=43102
Smart, S. (Photographer). (2011 ). Elderly hands on cup. [Print Photo]. Retrieved from
http://www.pbase.com/image/80171604
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Mindfulness Meditation Presentation 2