They’re often called “the golden years” for good reason; aging implants in us information from lessons learned during a lifetime, as well as the possibility to relax from the stressful pace of young adulthood and take the time to truly enjoy what matters most.
Still, for many reasons, our senior years may also be a time of added stress. Health problems can escalate in our older years. There’s often a higher chance of grief from loss of friends and family as they age, bringing along with it a reminder of our own mortality. Economic obstacles might also be an issue.
Determining how to relieve stress for seniors can be a challenge. The first step is identifying senior stress, which can present as:
- Withdrawing socially
- Loss of interest in previously loved activities
- A change in eating and sleeping habits
- Increased impatience, aggravation, or anxiety
- Weight gain or loss
Additionally, the senior may verbalize thoughts of being weighed down or stressed by a specific aspect of life.
Step one in figuring out how to relieve stress for a senior more effectively should be making an appointment with the physician to eliminate any physical factors for these issues. The physician may also want to suggest medication, even if just temporarily, to help the senior feel more relaxed.
Try these other stress-reduction guidelines to enhance a senior’s mindset:
- Help someone else. Nothing makes us feel more positive than knowing we’re making a significant difference within the life of an individual in need. Persuade your loved one to find a volunteer opportunity linked to a certain interest, such as helping the homeless, animals at a pet shelter, victims of abuse, etc.
- Get up and get moving. Exercise is worthwhile for our mind and mood as well as for our physical wellbeing. Accompany your loved one to the gymnasium, the neighborhood pool, or on a daily walk through the neighborhood.
- Plan an event. Having something enjoyable to look forward to is a great pick-me-up. Brainstorm ideas of things your loved one has always wished to do, and do something to make at least one of those a real possibility.
- Talk (or write) it out. Identify if your loved one might be willing to talk with a professional counselor to work through stress; if not, journaling can be helpful in putting words to emotions and supplying the chance for self-expression and also the venting of built-up stress.
- Partner with Enhanced Home Care. Enhanced Home Care is always readily available to help you with how to relieve stress for seniors in many ways – from pleasant companionship to allow the senior the opportunity for increased socialization and engagement in enjoyable activities, to help with housework and meal planning, errand-running, transportation, and more.
Get in touch with Enhanced Home Care, the leader in Olathe home health, at 913-327-0000 to arrange an in-home assessment and learn more about how we can help reduce senior stress and restore a sense of joy and well-being for your loved one!