A recent study at UCLA has evaluated caregivers of Alzheimer?s patients who take a few minutes a day to perform yoga meditation. Researchers found that Yoga practitioners have less incidence of depression than those who do not meditate. The leading researcher noted that many caregivers are older themselves and they have an ?impaired resilience? to stress.
The caregivers were divided into two groups, one that practiced the yoga based meditation for twelve minutes and the others just rested and listened to relaxing music for the same amount of time. At the end of an eight week evaluation the first group showed better cognitive function and significantly less depressive symptoms than the second group.
Those providing care need to be able to get some form of stress relief to ensure that they remain healthy and that they can continue to provide adequate care. Yoga could be a viable solution for many but it may not be quite enough for those providing full time care. Some caregivers may benefit from hiring a professional home health aide to take on some of the burden of care. A home health aide can take over duties like medication management and meal preparation to give the normal care provider a much needed reprieve from their stressful schedule.