Mindful Living in Older Age: a Pilot Study of a Brief, Community-Based, Positive Aging Intervention

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Lomas, Tim ; Ivtzan, Itai ; Yong, Chee Yik (2016)

Although mindfulness-based interventions have been successfully used with older adults, there have been few interventions that, (a) are created specifically for older adults, (b) are delivered in the community, and (c) aim to promote ‘successful aging’ (rather than just treating dysfunction/disorder). To this end, the current study piloted a brief ‘positive aging’ intervention, comprising two 150 minute sessions, with six female older adults living in the community. Data were gathered through focus groups that were interwoven throughout the intervention. Using thematic analysis, four main themes were identified: (a) aging as a mixed blessing; (b) understanding mindfulness; (c) the challenges of mindfulness; and (d) the benefits of mindfulness. Overall, the intervention was successful in introducing participants to mindfulness and potentially forming the basis of a longer term practice. However, the study also highlighted important points on the challenges of practising mindfulness, in relation to which the paper makes recommendations pertaining to the teaching of mindfulness with older adults.
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