April is Stress Awareness Month, and as a family caregiver, you can find a lot of resources dealing with stress in elderly adults. If your aging relative is facing some big life transitions now, they could be enduring some negative health effects from being overstressed.
While everyone goes through periods of stress in their life, elderly adults are more susceptible to the impact that chronic stress has on the body. They are also slower to recover from stress than younger adults are. Seniors may also try to hide the fact that they are stressed because they worry about losing their independence or being a burden.
Take some time to learn more about stress in elderly adults and then take the proper steps to help them manage it for their own health and wellness.
Q: Why is stress so bad in seniors?
A: Stress causes long-term and short-term effects on the body. Younger adults have an easier time recovering from these effects, but the elderly don’t, due to age. Over time, these negative health effects can seriously impact how elderly adults deal with other illnesses, injuries and mental health issues. Studies show that chronic stress can actually take years off an elderly person’s life.
Q: How can stress cause health problems in seniors?
A: When someone perceives stress, the brain releases high levels of certain hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones trigger physical responses, like rapid heartbeat. Too much of this kind of stress over time can lead to numerous health issues. In seniors, stress can cause a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, greater risk of cardiovascular diseases, poor memory, and a number of other problems.
Q: How can seniors reduce their stress triggers?
A: There are many approaches to reducing the triggers of stress in the first place. For example, if an elderly person is stressed over shopping, meal preparation and housekeeping, hiring an elderly care assistant can virtually eliminate that stress. Another example is if an elderly person is stressed about being unable to attend community events or to visit friends and family, they can rely on elderly care services to provide transportation.
Q: What are some ways that seniors can effectively manage stress?
A: Not all stress triggers can be eliminated. Illness, loss, grief, and more are inevitable in an elderly person’s life. The best thing for their health and wellness in those cases is to use tip and techniques designed to reduce the effects of stress on the body. Seniors can lean on their social support group of family, friends, elderly care assistants, clergy, therapists and more to keep their stress levels down. Other techniques include medication, prayer, owning a pet, spending time in nature, exercising, proper sleep and a healthy diet.
Q: What if basic stress management techniques aren’t working for seniors?
A: If an elderly person is not responding well to some basic stress management techniques, they should work closely with a doctor and a therapist. Family caregivers and elderly care assistants can observe when things are simply too much for the aging adult and arrange for mental and physical evaluations to start the process.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Memorial, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Latest posts by Donna Wrabel, LMSW (see all)
- 5 Tips That Help Seniors Beat the Summer Heat - July 17, 2018
- Can You Help Your Aging Adult with Her Dental Care? - July 16, 2018
- Tips for Keeping a Clean House - July 6, 2018