Overwhelmed caregivers: Try meditation

Shari Roan: HONOLULU — Home-based caregivers of ill or elderly family members are under enormous physical and mental stress, but daily meditative yoga may be a simple, effective strategy for maintaining health, according to a study presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Assn.

UCLA researchers Helen Lavretsky and Michael Irwin conducted an eight-week, randomized trial on the effects of meditation exercise on 49 people who were home-based caregivers of a loved one with dementia. About half of the caregivers listened to relaxation tapes for 20 minutes a day for eight weeks, while the other caregivers practiced Kirtan Kirya yoga, a meditation exercise. The study’s authors then conducted tests on mental … Read more »