They’re known as “the golden years” for good reason; getting older cements in us information from lessons learned during a lifetime, and also the ability to relax from the busy pace of young adulthood and take time to truly savor what matters most.
Yet our senior years can be a time full of added stress, for several reasons. Health problems can increase in our later years. There is often sadness from losing friends and family as they age, bringing with it a reminder of your own mortality. Financial problems might also be a factor.
So how can you identify stress in a senior loved one, and more significantly, help reduce it? Watch for these warning signs and symptoms of senior stress when caring for older parents:
- Withdrawing socially
- Loss of interest in previously loved activities
- A modification in eating and sleeping habits
- Amplified impatience, aggravation, or anxiety
- Weight gain or loss
It’s also possible that your loved one may verbalize thoughts of being overcome or stressed by a specific aspect of life.
The first step in order to assist a senior loved one more effectively control stress levels can be making an appointment with the doctor, to eliminate any physical factors for these issues. A doctor might also want to prescribe medication, even if just for the short term, to simply help the senior feel more relaxed.
Consider these other stress management techniques to boost your loved one’s mindset:
- Help someone else. Almost nothing makes us feel more positive than knowing we’re making a significant difference in the life of an individual in need. Encourage your loved one to seek out a volunteer opportunity connected with a particular passion, such as helping the homeless, animals at a pet shelter, victims of abuse, etc.
- Get up and get going. Being active is worthwhile for our mind and mood as much as in regards to our physical wellbeing. Go along with your loved one to the gymnasium, your nearby pool, or on a daily walk through the neighborhood.
- Arrange an event. Having something enjoyable to look forward to is an excellent pick-me-up. Brainstorm ideas of things your loved one has always wished to do, and do something to make one or more of them a real possibility.
- Talk (or write) it out. Find out if your loved one might be interested in speaking with a professional counselor to work through stress; if not, journaling can be helpful in putting words to emotions and supplying the potential for self-expression and the release of built-up stress.
- Partner with Grace Home Care. Grace Home Care is always on hand to ease stress for seniors in a variety of ways – from pleasant companionship to allow the senior the chance for increased socialization and involvement in enjoyable activities, to help with housework and meal preparation, errand-running, transportation, and much more.
Contact Grace Home Care at 708-286-2273 to arrange for respite care in Topeka and find out more about how our top-rated in-home care services can help with stress management techniques when caring for older parents to restore a feeling of happiness and well-being for your loved one!