Whether they meditate alone or in a yoga class, patients will reap benefits, said Dr. Paula Raia, director of patient care and family support at the Alzheimer's Association's local chapter. As Alzheimer's and dementia ravage the brain, sufferers can become agitated and prone to anxiety. Gradually they experience a loss of memory, intellect, and social skills. Their grip on reality progressively slips away.
The relaxation, breathing and even remembering poses seems to really help these patients.
"It's kind of nerve-wracking and frustrating. It takes so long to put yourself together," said Courtney, her house keys attached to a wristband key chain so she won't lose them.
"I may put something down and not remember where I put it. Sometimes I can't get the right word out of my mouth. I will mix up letters."
Courtney said yoga has given her some solace. "It keeps you in touch with your body," she said during stretches. "It's a refreshing thing."