Silver Santé researchers, students and guest speakers reveal details of their on-going studies
Over 90 attendees from across Europe, the United States and Australia joined the online public meeting on 16th June 2021, where ongoing research by the Silver Santé Study investigating the impact of interventions on mental health and well-being in the ageing population, was presented.
The online meeting, Mental Health & Well-being in the Ageing Population: Research, Risks and Recommendations covered presentations and discussions on a range of topics on mental health and well-being in older adults. A key topic was the Brain health of older participants of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, and whether psycho-affective factors such as sleep, physical activity and self-reflection can mitigate the risks of developing dementia. The perception of meditation and mindfulness as therapies or activities over the last five years was also explored.
Expert guest speakers David Bartres Faz, Professor of Medical Psychology at the University of Barcelona and Dr James Kirby, Senior Lecturer & Clinical Psychologist at the University of Queensland joined the meeting. Professor Bartres Faz presented results from the Barcelona Brain Health Initiative study that is investigating mental health effects and moderators during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr James Kirby spoke about his personal experiences as a clinical psychologist, raising awareness of the increase in research on meditation and growing acceptance of the emotional aspects concerned such as compassion.
During the final session of the day, expert meditator Martine Batchelor and English teachers – Corinne Schimmer of Carré International and Caitlin Ware of INSERM – shared their experiences of delivering the interventions with trial participants, highlighting the emotional benefits of meditation and the feasibility of learning a language at any age. This session was enriched by feedback on their experiences of being involved from participants directly involved in the study.
Project Co-ordinator Dr Gael Chételat of INSERM, said:
“The global population is ageing and as we live longer, ensuring good mental as well as physical health in later years is becoming ever more important. The two clinical trials conducted by our expert researchers in six European countries have assessed the impact of mental training techniques and lifestyle changes on the mental health and well-being of older adults. The Silver Santé Study is the longest ever study of both meditation and foreign language learning and is the first research to examine the emotional aspects of ageing and mental health.
This public meeting was a unique opportunity for us to share and cascade our findings, methodologies and data to a range of interested audiences across Europe and stimulate discussion in this area.”