How can yoga help me manage the stress of caregiving for a person with Alzheimer's disease?

Answer From Jonathan Graff-Radford, M.D.

Yoga might have benefits for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia.

Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. The practice focuses on postures (poses), breathing techniques and meditation.

While research on the benefits of yoga for caregivers is limited, a small number of studies suggest that yoga might:

  • Improve depression symptoms
  • Lower anxiety levels
  • Reduce stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve the ability to cope

One study found that caregivers who participated in an eight-week yoga group experienced physical and emotional benefits, which helped lessen any guilt they felt for taking time for themselves. Participants also reported feeling peaceful and relaxed during their yoga practice.

There are many different types and styles of yoga, and some are more intense and vigorous than others. Check with your doctor before starting yoga, especially if you have any health conditions. If finding time to attend a yoga class is challenging, seek out a mix of in-person and online classes.

With

Jonathan Graff-Radford, M.D.

June 09, 2020 See more Expert Answers