Category: Aging and Older Adults
Keywords: Aging / Older Adults | Mindfulness | Acceptance
Presentation Type: Clinical Roundtable
Older adults (age 65 or over) make up 15% of the U.S. population, a proportion expected to reach 20% by 2030 (Population Resource Bureau, 2017). Problems faced by many older adults include: chronic pain and medical conditions, isolation, financial hardship, grief and loss, and reduced autonomy and independence. Mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions and curricula (e.g., MBSR, MBCT, ACT, DBT) offer training in skills that can help individuals and families navigate these and other sources of distress commonly associated with aging. Trials of these interventions have demonstrated effectiveness in alleviating both physical and psychological distress among older adults (Geiger et al., 2016). Moreover, mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions and programs can provide a context for vital developmental work as participants explore their life experience through the lens of contemplative practice. Insights from these explorations may contribute to increased engagement in life, greater openness to the range and variety of human emotions, and new opportunities to savor valued activities and relationships.
This clinical roundtable presentation examines the potential benefits of mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions for older adults. It also explores the challenges clinicians encounter when delivering these programs across diverse settings. Panelists include clinicians and researchers working in a variety of contexts, from hospitals to community centers to assisted living facilities. Questions the panelists will address include: (a) how can clinicians providing mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions address the varied interests and concerns of older adults, (b) what aspects of these interventions hold the greatest appeal for older adult populations, (c) what health and behavior problems most commonly interfere with participants’ engagement in these programs and related research efforts, (d) how can clinicians work most effectively with family and institutional caregivers to foster conditions for contemplative practice, (e) what modifications to intervention protocols and curricula (e.g., changes in session length, daily practice times) are most helpful when working with older adults.
Associate Professor of Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry
Weill Cornell Medicine
Saturday, November 18
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry
University of Pennsylvania
Director, UCSD Center for Mindfulness
University of California, San Diego
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