They’re known as “the golden years” for good reason; aging infuses in people knowledge from lessons learned during a lifetime, and also the chance to relax from the frantic pace of young adulthood and take the time to truly enjoy what counts most.
Still, our senior years can certainly be a time of added stress, for several reasons. Health problems can rise in our later years. There is often a larger probability of sadness from losing family and friends as they age, bringing with it a reminder of one’s own mortality. Economic challenges may also be a factor.
So how do you recognize stress in your loved one, and in particular, help alleviate it? Look for these warning signs of senior stress:
- Withdrawing socially
- Loss of interest in formerly enjoyed pursuits
- A modification in eating and sleeping habits
- Elevated impatience, aggravation, or anxiety
- Weight gain or loss
It’s also possible that your loved one may share thoughts and feelings of being bogged down or stressed by a specific aspect of life.
A good place to start to assist a senior loved one better regulate stress levels can be making an appointment with the physician, to eliminate any physical factors for these effects. A doctor may also want to prescribe medication, even if just temporarily, to simply help the senior feel more relaxed.
Try these other stress-eliminating suggestions to boost a senior loved one’s perspective:
- Help someone else. Practically nothing makes us feel more positive than knowing we’re making a difference in the life of another person in need. Urge your loved one to locate a volunteer opportunity pertaining to a certain interest, such as assisting the homeless, animals at a pet shelter, victims of abuse, and so on.
- Get up and get moving. Exercise is worthwhile for our mind and mood as much as in regard to our physical wellbeing. Go with your loved one to the fitness center, the neighborhood pool, or on a regular walk through the neighborhood.
- Plan an event. Having something interesting to look forward to is a fantastic pick-me-up. Brainstorm ideas of things your loved one has always desired to do and make a plan to help make at least one of them a reality.
- Talk (or write) it out. Find out if your loved one could be open to conversing with a professional counselor to work through stress; if not, journaling can be helpful in putting words to emotions and giving the potential for self-expression and the venting of built-up stress.
- Partner with Home With You Senior Care. Home With You Senior Care is always on hand to relieve stress for seniors in many ways – from friendly companionship to allow a senior loved one the chance for increased socialization and involvement in enjoyable activities, to help with housework and meal planning, errand-running, transportation, and much more.
Contact Home With You Senior Care, an Ellicott City elder care provider for the surrounding areas, at 410-756-0959 to arrange an in-home consultation and find out about how we can help identify the signs of stress and more effectively manage it, restoring a sense of happiness and wellbeing for a senior loved one!