Stress can be difficult to manage at any age. It can be caused by problems big and small, ranging from financial difficulties to unexpected lifestyle changes, and many seniors have difficulty reducing their stress levels. Thankfully, there are plenty of effective stress relief methods for aging adults.
1. Identify the Source and Symptoms of Stress
Before seniors can choose a particular stress relief method, they need to identify the source of their stress. Common causes include insomnia, illness, retirement, loneliness, interpersonal conflicts, and loss of/separation from loved ones. Many seniors have multiple sources of stress, and they may require a more comprehensive treatment plan. Seniors and their caregivers should also be on the lookout for symptoms of stress, which include headaches, digestive disorders, irritability, inattentiveness, and emotional outbursts. When high stress levels go untreated, they can take a serious toll on a senior’s health, raising the risk of heart disease and other conditions, which is why it’s so important to tackle and reduce senior stress levels.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to relieve stress. It promotes the production of endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters that have a mood-boosting impact on the body. Physical movement can also distract seniors from the sources of their stress, and the increased mental clarity often continues throughout the day. Seniors looking for meditative exercise can try yoga, and those who want to burn off stress and calories can try aerobics classes. Water aerobics and chair exercises may be appropriate for seniors with mobility issues.
For seniors with mobility limitations or health conditions that make it difficult to exercise on their own, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful asset. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional in-home care. Fort Myers families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Meditation is another great option for seniors. It doesn’t require special equipment or a gym membership—just the body, the mind, and a willingness to try. The breathing exercises practiced in meditation provide immediate stress relief, but regular practice may prevent future bouts of stress. Meditation trains the brain to be present and mindful, which mitigates the stress response.
Caregivers need stress relief, too, so meditating can be a great idea for the whole family. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Fort Myers families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
4. Try Cognitive Therapy
For some seniors, heightened stress levels are a sign of an untreated anxiety disorder. When aging adults feel perpetually on edge, experience panic attacks, or have a tendency to catastrophize, therapy may be the most effective treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective for people with anxiety, as it restructures the brain’s outlook. This treatment gives seniors the mental tools they need to break out of negative thought cycles and view stress-inducing situations from a different perspective.
5. Change the Environment
While a living space can be a source of comfort, it can also be stifling and anxiety inducing. For seniors whose stress is brought on by loneliness, lack of purpose, or a general sense of malaise, getting away from their everyday environment can prove effective. They can go for a stroll in the local park, power walk through a nearby mall, or visit a cafe for an afternoon treat. Getting out of the house, breathing in the fresh air, and changing their point of view may be just what they need to reduce their anxiety.
Stress can have a number of unhealthy physical and emotional effects on seniors, so lowering stress levels is an important part of boosting their overall wellbeing. In Fort Myers, at-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (239) 449-4701 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.