Senior stress management can help your loved one’s health take a much more positive direction when you know what to look for and strategies to support them. 84% of adults in 2020 reported they experienced one emotion related with prolonged stress. They commonly felt anxiety, sadness, and anger.

Seniors experience stress

Older adults often feel stressed about the following:

  • The loss of a loved one: Losing a spouse, family members, friend, or pets
  • Changes in relationships: The changing dynamics between the loved one and family members
  • Changes in physical abilities: The decline of vision, hearing, mobility, or balance can impact the feeling of independence
  • Too much free time: The lack of purpose with too much free time the affects sense of direction in life
  • Increasing health care costs due to health: As we age, we all face health changes, but feeling overwhelmed with costs from health issues can be stressful

Negative reactions to stress

While we do experience stress throughout our lives, it is normal and manageable; however, chronic stress can negatively impact health in the following ways:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Heart problems
  • Digestive issues
  • Dental issues

Stress signs to look for to support senior stress management

How do you know if your loved one is experiencing chronic stress? While some older adults can and are good to communicate their feelings, others are not. They may feel like they don’t want to burden you. The following signs to watch for can include:

  • Reduced energy or fatigue
  • Sleep issues or insomnia
  • Changes in eating habits and weight
  • Digestive issues
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Changes in personal hygiene
  • Changes in mood

How to combat or help cope using senior stress management

  • Allow yourself to take a break from the “outside world” of news, social media, and sometimes even particular friends. Exposing ourselves to negative content—images and rhetoric—maintains that level of stress at an unhealthy level.
  • Practice self-care throughout the day in 15-to-30-minute intervals. We can take a walk, talk to friends, or watch an enjoyable show.
  • Practice “three good things,” asking your friends and family to do the same. Reflect on good things, no matter how big or small, to help decrease anxiety and depression and build emotional resiliency.
  • Staying connected to family and friends helps to support building emotional resiliency as well.
  • Keep a positive perspective and reframe thoughts to reduce negative reactions to everyday experiences and events.
  • Exercise can help increase the relaxation response
  • Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Volunteering and getting involved in community events
  • Socializing
  • During holidays, use similar strategies but pay special attention to isolation and withdrawal

Family Resource Home Care offers one-on-one centered care whether it is for a few hours to 24/7 live-in care for your loved one. We offer assistance with daily living, ensuring your adult is matched with a caregiver who will help you, in turn, relax, knowing your loved one is received the best care possible.

2021 Stress in America Graphs