Cognitive and Emotional Benefits of the Mindful Aging Memory (MAM) Skill Group: An Anonymous Focus Group Survey with Low Income Older Adults

Morgan Tallman, University of Maine, Orono, United States
Madison Landry, University of Maine, Orono, United States
Holly Timblin, University of Maine, Orono, United States
Rebecca MacAulay, University of Maine, Orono, United States


There is substantial interest in mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) as a means to attenuate stress, improve mood, and promote healthier lifestyles to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. However, no study to our knowledge has investigated the acceptability and tolerability of mindfulness practices within a socioeconomically diverse older adult population.

Participants and Methods:

The present study collected anonymous survey data to learn about older adults’ experience with a brief MBI (e.g., what they liked, didn’t like, and whether the concepts were understandable to them) at two low-income community-dwelling sites. Participants completed a 1-hour Mindful Aging Memory (MAM) skill group and completed surveys on the cognitive and mental health benefits of this brief MBI.


Analysis of the survey data indicated that older adults universally enjoyed learning about mindfulness practice. On a 5-point Likert scale, participants endorsed that mindfulness practice helps to improve attention and thinking (M = 4.33, SD = .89), mood (M = 4.30, SD = 1.05), and was relaxing (M = 4.32, SD = .89). Initial difficulty in paying attention during mindfulness practice was also noted. Learning new tools, relaxing/reducing stress, and concentration were consistently rated as the Top 3 Benefits among participants.


This study provides support for the acceptability of mindfulness practice and preliminary evidence of subjective cognitive and emotional benefits in a low-income older adult population. Brief mindfulness practices may prove to be more tolerable than extended durations for older adults.

Category: Cognitive Intervention/Rehabilitation

Keyword 1: awareness
Keyword 2: diversity
Keyword 3: attention