A number of cognitive interventions have been developed to enhance cognitive functioning in the growing population of the elderly. We describe the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Approach for Seniors (MBCAS), a new training program designed especially for seniors. It was conceived in the context of self-development for seniors who wish to enhance their relationship with their inner and outer selves in order to navigate their aging process more easily and fluently.
Physical and psychosocial problems related to aging, as well as some temporal issues, were taken into account in developing this program. Unlike clinically oriented mindfulness-based programs, which are generally delivered during an 8-week period, the MBCAS training program is presented over a period of 8 months. The main objectives of this program are to teach seniors to observe current experiences with nonjudgmental awareness, to identify automatic behaviors or reactions to current experiences that are potentially nonadaptive, and to enhance and reinforce positive coping with typical difficulties that they face in their daily lives.
Details of the program development and initial implementation are presented, with suggestions for evaluating the program's effectiveness.