They’re often called “the golden years” for good reason; growing older infuses in people wisdom from lessons learned throughout a lifetime, and the chance to relax from the frantic pace of young adulthood and take time to truly take pleasure in what matters most.
Still, our older years can certainly be a time of added stress, for several reasons. Health problems can escalate in our later years. There is a greater possibility of grief from loss of friends and family as they age, bringing with it a reminder of one’s own mortality. Economic obstacles may also be an issue.
So, how do you notice stress in seniors, and more importantly, help them in dealing with stress? Look for these warning signs of stress in seniors:
- Withdrawing socially
- Loss of interest in formerly enjoyed experiences
- A modification in eating and sleeping habits
- Greater impatience, aggravation, or anxiety
- Weight gain or loss
And of course, the senior may verbalize thoughts of being overwhelmed or stressed by a particular facet of life.
A good place to start in order to assist the senior in more effectively dealing with stress is making an appointment with a physician to eliminate any physical causes for these effects. A doctor may also want to recommend medication, even if just temporarily, to simply help the older adult feel more relaxed.
Consider these other stress-reduction recommendations to enhance a senior loved one’s outlook:
- Assist someone else. Very little makes us feel happier than knowing we’re making a difference in the life of an individual in need of assistance. Persuade your loved one to locate a volunteer opportunity linked to a specific interest, such as assisting the homeless, animals at a pet shelter, victims of abuse, and so on.
- Get up and get moving. Being active is valuable for our mind and mood just as much as in regards to our physical wellbeing. Accompany your loved one to the gym, the local pool, or on a daily walk through the neighborhood.
- Schedule an event. Having something enjoyable to look forward to is an easy pick-me-up. Brainstorm ideas of things a senior loved one has always wished to do, and make a plan to make one or more of them a real possibility.
- Talk (or write) it out. Discover if your loved one could possibly be open to speaking with a professional counselor to effectively work through stress; if not, journaling can be helpful in putting words to emotions and giving the opportunity for self-expression plus the release of built-up stress.
- Partner with Morning Glory Home Care. Morning Glory Home Care is always readily available to help remedy stress for seniors in a variety of ways – from pleasant companionship to permit a senior loved one the chance for increased socialization and involvement in interesting activities, to help with housework and meal planning, errand-running, transportation, and so much more.
Contact Morning Glory Home Care, an Alton respite care and home care provider for the surrounding area, at 618-667-8400 to set up an in-home consultation and learn more about how we can help handle and prevent stress in seniors, restoring a feeling of happiness and wellbeing for your family member!