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Mindfulness Therapy App Helps Alzheimer's Caregivers With Stress, Study Shows


Researchers at Rutgers found use of the Mindfulness Coach App reduced stress, depression and anxiety among overwhelmed caregivers

People who are caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairments can themselves experience anxiety and depression from this overwhelming responsibility.

Researchers at Rutgers have found that mindfulness therapy, accessed through the Mindfulness Coach App, can help. The app offers education, guided meditation and mindfulness exercises. Study author Elissa Kozlov said the results were impressive.

“We saw reductions in stress, reductions in depressive symptoms, reductions in anxiety, and reductions in the caregiver burden which is this feeling of being overwhelmed by all the caregiving responsibilities,” she said.

The app was created by a team at the National Center for PTSD Research at the Department of Veterans Affairs to help vets with post-traumatic stress.

“A lot of times with anxiety or depression we’re worried about the future or thinking about the past but mindfulness therapy is really geared to get you to think about the present moment and to be engaged in the here and the now,” said Kozlov.

The app works, she said, by giving the user a bunch of different readings each week, along with exercises and assessments “to get you to progressively train your brain essentially, to be more geared towards the present.”

She cautioned though, that meditation is like training for a marathon -- you’ll see results, but it takes time.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.