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The Benefits of Yoga for Dementia

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 50 million people worldwide currently have dementia, with around 10 million new cases expected to be diagnosed each year. As a caregiver for a senior loved one with dementia, you might be wondering about their future: Can you recover from dementia, or is dementia a lifelong illness?

While there have been individual cases of recovery following dementia, these are very rare. Currently, there is no known cure, and it is unlikely that there will ever be a single cure for dementia since there are so many causes of the various types of memory loss. However, a dementia diagnosis doesn’t mean your loved one will lose their memory overnight. From natural supplements to meditation and yoga, there are numerous things you can do to help your loved one slow the progression of the symptoms of dementia.

Can dementia be cured naturally?

That’s a tricky question. As previously mentioned, there is no known cure for dementia. However, there are various natural supplements that some claim help to slow the progression of the disease, including ginkgo biloba, omega-3 fatty acids, ginseng, and vitamins B12 and B9. This chart from Psychiatric Times displays various supplements that have been studied so far. It’s important to note the results, however, as they indicate few supplements display compelling evidence to suggest they’d truly be helpful in preventing or reversing symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

So, if these natural supplements aren’t the most effective way to help prevent or reverse symptoms of dementia, what else can you do to help your loved one? You might have heard about several studies evaluating the effectiveness of yoga as a treatment – but does yoga help with dementia?

Benefits of Yoga and Meditation for Dementia

Does yoga reduce the risk of dementia? Possibly! Research indicates that the practice of meditation and yoga can help reduce stress hormones in the body. This is important because stress hormones can cause inflammation and can negatively impact important brain structures – like the hippocampus – that regulate memory and cognition. The practice of yoga and meditation can also help the brain by stimulating neuroplasticity and helping the brain form new connections. Additionally, a growing number of studies show an increase in positive brain and cognitive changes with the continued practice of meditation and yoga.

Exploring Yoga for Memory Loss

Looking to explore the benefits of yoga and meditation for your senior loved one with dementia, but you’re not sure where to start? Determining which yoga is best for increasing memory power in your loved one is a complicated process, one in which results might vary based on the individual and how much their dementia has progressed. For instance, in one study evaluating the effectiveness of chair yoga for dementia, adults suffering from moderate-to-severe dementia displayed an improved quality of life after participating in 45-minute chair yoga sessions twice a week for 12 weeks.

Check out these videos to see what yoga exercise for Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory loss looks like:

At Meridian Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, our multi-dimensional approach to health and wellness includes exercise groups and skilled nursing care to help your loved one get back on their feet. Reach out to us today for a personalized consultation. We’d be happy to answer your questions!