They are often called “the golden years” for good reason; growing older instills in people knowledge from lessons learned throughout a lifetime, in addition to the possibility to relax from the hectic pace of younger adulthood and make the time to truly enjoy what matters most.
Nevertheless, our older years can certainly be a time of compounded stress, for several reasons. Health conditions can rise in our older years. There is often a larger probability of grief from loss of friends and family as they age, bringing along with it a reminder of our own mortality. Economic obstacles could also be a factor.
Just how might you notice stress in your senior loved one, and help decrease it? Look for these warning signs and symptoms of senior stress:
- Withdrawing socially
- Loss of interest in formerly enjoyed experiences
- A change in eating and sleeping habits
- Greater impatience, aggravation, or anxiety
- Weight gain or loss
Additionally, your senior loved one may share thoughts of being overcome or stressed by a specific facet of life.
The first step to assist your senior loved one in better coping with stress is through making an appointment with the physician in order to eliminate any physical causes for these issues. The physician may want to prescribe medication, even if just in the short term, to help the older adult feel more relaxed.
Try these other stress-busting guidelines to boost your senior loved one’s mindset:
- Help someone else. Almost nothing makes us feel more positive than knowing we are making a significant difference in the life of an individual in need. Urge your loved one to seek out a volunteer opportunity correlated to a certain passion, such as supporting the homeless, animals at a pet shelter, victims of abuse, and so on.
- Get up and get going. Being active is worthwhile for our mind and mood just as much as for our physical wellbeing. Go along with your senior loved one to a health club, the area pool, or on a daily walk through the neighborhood.
- Schedule an event. Having something interesting to look forward to is a good pick-me-up. Brainstorm ideas of things your loved one has always desired to do, and make a plan to help make one or more of those a reality.
- Talk (or write) it out. Identify if your loved one may be open to speaking with a professional therapist to work through stress; if not, journaling can help in putting words to emotions and providing the potential for self-expression and the release of built-up stress.
- Partner with At-Home Care Company. At Home Care Company is always on hand to help remedy stress for seniors in a variety of ways – from friendly companionship to allow your senior loved one the ability for increased socialization and engagement in interesting activities, to help with housework and meal planning, errand-running, transportation, and more.
At-Home Care Company is the Polk County elder care leaders, providing compassionate, affordable, in-home care for area families. Reach out to us today in Ames at (515) 292-2650 and in Ankeny at (515) 963-4410 to arrange an in-home consultation and learn more about how we can help seniors coping with stress to restore a sense of happiness and wellbeing!