They’re often called “the golden years” for good reason; aging instills in people wisdom from lessons learned during a lifetime, in addition to the chance to relax from the fast pace of younger adulthood and make the time to truly appreciate what matters most.
However, our older years can also be an occasion of compounded stress, for a number of reasons. Health issues can increase as people age. There is often a larger possibility of sadness from loss of friends and family, bringing along with it a reminder of one’s own mortality. Monetary obstacles could also be an issue.
So, just how is it possible to identify stress in a senior loved one, and more importantly, help overcome it? Watch out for these warning signs of senior stress:
- Withdrawing socially
- Loss of interest in previously liked experiences
- A modification in eating and sleeping habits
- Higher irritability, aggravation, or agitation
- Weight gain or loss
And of course, a loved one may share thoughts and feelings of being overwhelmed or stressed by a specific facet of life.
The initial step in order to help the senior better control stress levels should be making an appointment with the physician to eliminate any physical reasons for these effects. A doctor may also want to suggest medication, even if just in the short term, to simply help the older adult feel more relaxed.
Consider these other stress-reduction ideas to further improve a senior loved one’s perspective:
- Help someone else. Nothing makes us feel more positive than knowing we’re making a significant difference in the life of a person in need of assistance. Encourage an elder loved one to seek out a volunteer opportunity related to a certain passion, such as helping the homeless, animals at a pet shelter, victims of abuse, etc.
- Get up and get moving. Exercise is helpful for our mind and mood nearly as much as for our physical wellbeing. Go along with an older adult to a health club, the area pool, or on a daily walk through the neighborhood.
- Schedule an event. Having something enjoyable to look forward to is an excellent pick-me-up. Brainstorm ideas of things your loved one has always wished to do, and do something to make one or more of them a reality.
- Talk (or write) it out. See if your loved one could possibly be open to talking with a professional counselor to effectively work through stress; if not, journaling can help in putting words to emotions and supplying the chance for self-expression and also the release of built-up stress.
- Partner with Absolute Companion Care. Absolute Companion Care is always readily available to alleviate stress for seniors in lots of ways – from pleasant companionship to allow a senior loved one the ability for enhanced socialization and involvement in enjoyable activities, to help with housework and meal planning, errand-running, transportation, and more.
Get in touch with Absolute Companion Care at 410-357-9640 to set up an in-home assessment and find out more about how our Butler senior care team can help lessen senior stress and restore a feeling of happiness and well-being for your senior loved one!