Could Meditation Help Seniors with PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that some people develop after going through a traumatic event. Most people are familiar with it as it relates to veterans. Because military veterans are more likely to have witnessed or been involved in a traumatic experience, they are at a higher risk for developing PTSD. Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs typically recommends treating PTSD with exposure therapy. Exposure therapy involves working with a therapist to deal with things that trigger PTSD episodes and with memories of the event itself. Because it is so difficult to confront the feelings, many veterans don’t want to try it or stop the therapy. Recently, a study suggested that meditation may be an effective alternative to exposure therapy.

About the Study

The research involved 200 veterans in San Diego. The participants were divided into three groups. One group learned to meditate, another underwent exposure therapy, and the third took classes that focused on exercise and nutrition. The sessions the participants attended took place once per week and lasted 90 minutes.

At the end of the three-month study, the veterans in the meditation group had a 61 percent improvement in PTSD symptoms. But only 42 percent of the exposure therapy group and 32 percent of the exercise and nutrition group had improvements.

Other Ways to Cope with PTSD

In addition to meditation and therapy, there are many other ways you can assist your aging relative to cope with PTSD. Some things that may work are:

  • Education: Learning as much as you can about PTSD will foster a better understanding of what your family member is going through.
  • Offer Support: Having PTSD can make people feel alone. They may disconnect from others because they do not know how to express what they are feeling. However, having social connections is an important part of coping with PTSD. Reassure your family member that you are there for them and will help when they need it. Also, make an effort to include them in activities and gatherings.
  • Physical Activity: Exercise can help to reduce stress. Encourage your aging relative to find a form of physical activity that they find enjoyable and to do it on a regular basis.
  • Support Group: Joining a support group can help a senior with PTSD to feel less alone. It also gives them a safe place to talk about their feelings.

Senior care can also help older adults to cope with PTSD. A senior care provider can be another source of support and social connection. In addition, they can assist seniors to remain connected with friends and social activities by offering transportation when they are no longer able to drive. Senior care can also help older adults to engage in physical activity by going for walks with them or taking them to group fitness classes.


If you are considering hiring senior care in Pleasant View, UT for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Ogden, UT. Call today 801-821-4535.