The benefits of practising mindfulness in care 

Depression and anxiety affects 1 in 5 people, with mental health being even more common in later life. Depression is the most common mental health problem in the over-75s and it’s important that the invisible disease is recognised and treated as if it was a physical one.

Since 2017, Karolina Nowadczy has been helping residents, their families and colleagues practice mindful techniques to help boost their mental health and promote well-being at Brunelcare, a Bristol based charity providing housing, care and support for older people in the South West for over 75 years.

There are multiple mindfulness techniques which can be practised relatively easily. One is a simple breathing technique, focusing on the breath going into the body, holding for a second and then leaving the body, this relieves stress and allows residents to feel relaxed and calm.

Socialising and sensory activities such as animal meets prove to be extremely beneficial, It’s been scientifically proven that animals can help with depression, anxiety, and stress alongside providing great companionship.

Touch is also very important for residents who are living with dementia yet are cognitively impaired. I would offer soothing hand and foot massages to relax and ease the residents.

Karolina said: “Helping residents learn mindful techniques can be very rewarding. The tenants are in such great spirits, it’s helped them minimise the use of anti-psychotic medication and helped the residents who are living with dementia remain calm and relaxed.”