They’re referred to as “the golden years” for good reason; growing older infuses in people information from lessons learned throughout a lifetime, and the ability to relax from the busy pace of younger adulthood and take time to truly appreciate what matters most.
Nonetheless, our senior years can certainly be a time full of added stress, for a variety of reasons. Health concerns can rise in our older years. There is in many cases an increased possibility of sadness from loss of friends and family as they age, bringing with it a reminder of our own mortality. Monetary obstacles can also be a factor.
Just how are you able to identify stress in an older adult, and importantly, help manage it? Watch for these senior stress symptoms:
- Withdrawing socially
- Loss of interest in formerly enjoyed experiences
- A modification in eating and sleeping habits
- Higher impatience, aggravation, or anxiety
- Weight gain or loss
And of course, a senior loved one may verbalize feelings of being overwhelmed or stressed by a certain component of life.
Step one in order to assist the senior more effectively handle stress symptoms is by making an appointment with the physician, to eliminate any physical reasons for these effects. A doctor could also recommend medication, even if just in the short term, to simply help the older adult feel more relaxed.
Try these other stress-eliminating guidelines to enhance a senior loved one’s perspective:
- Assist someone else. Practically nothing makes us feel happier than knowing we are making a significant difference in the life of someone in need of assistance. Encourage your loved one to seek out a volunteer opportunity linked to a particular interest, such as supporting the homeless, animals at a pet shelter, victims of abuse, etc.
- Get up and get moving. Being active is worthwhile for our mind and mood as much as for our physical wellbeing. Go with your loved one to the gym, the neighborhood pool, or on a regular walk through the neighborhood.
- Schedule an event. Having something fun to look forward to is a fantastic pick-me-up. Brainstorm ideas of things your loved one has always desired to do, and take steps to help make one or more of these a reality.
- Talk (or write) it out. See if your loved one may be willing to speaking with a professional counselor to work through stress; if not, journaling can be helpful in putting words to emotions and giving the opportunity for self-expression and also the release of built-up stress.
- Partner with Live Free Home Health Care. Live Free Home Health Care is always readily available to ease stress symptoms for seniors in many ways – from pleasant companionship to allow the senior the ability for increased socialization and engagement in enjoyable activities, to help with housework and meal preparation, errand-running, transportation, and much more.
Get in touch with Live Free Home Health Care, providers of live in care in Bristol and the surrounding areas, at 603-217-0149 to set up an in-home consultation and find out about how we can help alleviate senior stress symptoms and restore a sense of happiness and wellbeing for your loved one!