They are known as “the golden years” for good reason; aging builds knowledge from lessons learned during a lifetime, and it also gives people the chance to relax from the hectic pace of younger adulthood and truly delight in what matters most.
Nevertheless, for many reasons, our senior years can also be a time of added stress. Health issues can rise in our older years. There’s commonly a higher likelihood of sadness from losing loved ones and close friends as they age, bringing with it a reminder of our own mortality. Financial challenges could also be an issue.
So, just how might you discern stress in your loved one, and importantly, help manage it? Watch for these warning signs and symptoms of senior stress:
- Withdrawing socially
- Loss of interest in formerly liked activities
- A modification in eating and sleeping habits
- Elevated irritability, aggravation, or anxiety
- Weight gain or loss
Additionally, your loved one may share thoughts of being overwhelmed or stressed by a certain part of life.
The first step in determining how to reduce stress for an older adult should be making an appointment with the doctor, to eliminate any physical reasons for these issues. The physician might also want to recommend medication, even if just temporarily, to simply help the senior feel more relaxed.
Consider these other tips for how to reduce senior stress and improve an older adult’s outlook:
- Help someone else. Almost nothing makes us feel happier than knowing we are making a positive change within the life of a person in need of assistance. Encourage your loved one to locate a volunteer opportunity linked to a certain interest, such as assisting the homeless, animals at a pet shelter, victims of abuse, and so on.
- Get up and get going. Exercise is beneficial for our mind and mood nearly as much as in regards to our physical wellbeing. Go along with your loved one to the fitness center, your nearby pool, or on a daily walk through the neighborhood.
- Plan an event. Having something interesting to look forward to is a great pick-me-up. Brainstorm ideas of things your loved one has always wanted to do, and take steps to make one or more of those a reality.
- Talk (or write) it out. Find out if your loved one could be open to talking with a professional counselor to effectively work through stress; if not, journaling can be helpful in putting words to emotions and providing the chance for self-expression as well as the release of built-up stress.
- Partner with Hearts at Home In-Home Care. Hearts at Home In-Home Care is always available to relieve stress for seniors in a variety of ways – from friendly companionship to allow your senior loved one the opportunity for enhanced socialization and involvement in enjoyable activities, to help with housework and meal preparation, errand-running, transportation, and so much more.
If you or a loved one need help at home in Kansas City or the surrounding areas, contact Hearts at Home In-Home Care at 913-440-4209 to set up an in-home consultation and find out about how we can help lessen senior stress and restore a sense of joy and well-being for your loved one!