When leaving the workforce and entering the pension years, people always think that being on pension means they are now stress-free. The reality is that most seniors suffer from stress in their daily lives. A recent statistic indicated that 44% of older adults feel stressed! Stress manage is important.
Seniors suffering stress manage it, or they don’t, in which case they end up with more stress, mental strain, and illness. The impact of stress on seniors include heart complications, stroke, and a further downward spiral into depression.
There are ways to deal with stress, manage it, and create a meaningful and enjoyable life for senior citizens. With our wealth of experience in the care and aid of seniors, we’ve created this handy stress management guide for seniors.
Identifying Stress as Seniors Age
Knowing why you are stressed is the first step in managing it effectively. There are numerous causes of stress:
Physical Conditions and Diseases
If seniors are in pain, they won’t be able to cope with life’s challenges nearly as well as when they are hale and healthy. Consider the conditions your senior person is coping with.
Rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s are just a few examples of debilitating diseases that can really wear away at a senior’s ability to cope. The uncertainty and physical pain can induce mental strain, lead to crotchetiness, and prelude the slide into depression.
Lifestyle Challenges and Worries
Pensioners or the elderly have had their ability to earn a living completely reduced, if not totally eliminated. This can cause serious stress. Money worries, concerns about what will happen to their family, and stressful thoughts all conspire to destroy their mental calm.
When a senior believes they have no value, and they fear they won’t be able to continue sustaining themselves, it is the start of bitter depression.
The Time It Takes for Senior Care
When that senior is your family member, you may feel obliged to take care of them, but this is not a simple matter. Seniors require time, patience, and undivided attention. When you have an elderly person living in your family home, you may discover they require more time and care than you can realistically give.
This is when you would consider a care facility. While this is not an easy decision, it is often the best for your senior as they will receive the care and patience they need at a facility.
If you are still able to care for your senior family member, then you can help them reduce their stress at home. However, a care facility can help them manage when they do feel stressed, and professional helpers are trained to relieve stress. Here’s how:
Ways to Reduce Stress
Seniors will benefit from any or all of these stress-reduction methods:
Meditation or Spirituality
At care facilities, there are often beautiful gardens that encourage quiet time, meditation, and spirituality. De-stress with the guidance of knowledgeable staff, the calming effect of a caring community, and the help of dedicated staff.
Activities like art and crafts will also develop a deeper spirituality and help reduce stress.
Exercising to Reduce Stress
With knowledgeable staff at care facilities, seniors can be led through a range of physical activities that will help relieve the physical effects of stress. Muscle tension, breathing difficulties, and headaches can be alleviated.
Stretching, tai-chi, walking along garden paths, and engaging in team activities like line dancing and hiking lower stress.
Live With a Community of Peers
One of the most stress-causing factors for seniors who live at home with their adult children is the lack of understanding. By sharing a care facility with a community of peers, the senior will feel more at home and better socialized. With similar interests, a senior will be happier in the company of their own generation.
A community helps with sharing similar experiences, and other seniors will rather know what members in their community have experienced.
Train Your Brain and Relax With Puzzles
Ensure the care facility your senior family member attends offers not only physical activities but also brain activities like reading, puzzles, singing, and quizzes. Distraction is a great way to instantly relieve stress.
When your senior family member begins to feel stressed, they can instantly dispel stress. Start reading a few verses of a book, listening to some good music, singing along to the words.
These activities stimulate different brain centers, which each help to balance hormones like cortisol, which is the stress hormone. With instant relief, cortisol levels decrease, and the senior will feel peaceful.
Letting Go of Stress
Once a senior begins to feel stressed or disconnected, they should be helped to implement any or all of the above ideas. Stress is a growing problem, and if a senior doesn’t proactively take steps, they will suffer the results.