Although meditation has long been known to reduce stress and lower blood pressure, AARP.com reports that recent studies have shown that meditating can cause physical changes in the brain as one ages.
According the news source, scientists are focusing on a concept called neuroplasticity, which is the belief that certain experiences can fundamentally change the brain. Findings from a 2007 study found that people who practiced mediation regularly appeared to avoid natural age-related decline of gray matter that helps control motor skills and other brain functions.
Scientist Joshua Grant told the news provider that while there is generally a decrease in thickness of gray matter, exercising the brain, much like working out other muscles in the body, will keep it stronger.
Along with being a step forward in elder care, mediation can also reduce depression in senior citizens and help them maintain an independent lifestyle.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that around five million older adults suffer from subsyndromal depression, which has symptoms that fall short of being diagnosed with clinical depression.