Society depicts retirement as a carefree period of one’s life where there is time to relax, travel the world and take up new hobbies. Many people believe that most of life stresses are significantly reduced as there are no more children to be raised, no work obligations and the home mortgage payments are few or non-existent. Unfortunately for a large number of seniors and older adults, this is not the case. Stress often continues into the golden years and can even increase for some seniors.
A New Kind of Stress
Stress does not go away as a person ages, rather they face new types of challenges. For example, a senior will not have to worry about raising children but they may be concerned about declining health or living on a fixed income. Those with a chronic health conditions are at higher risk for stress as they may also fear becoming a burden on their adult children. During the senior years, a parent or loved one may also question their own future as they begin to experience the loss of close friends and loved ones.
Impact of Stress on Health
Subsequently, the impact of stress on health continues into one’s golden years. Stress is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. Those under high amounts of stress are more likely than others to be ill as the immune system may become compromised, suffer from sleep disturbances and are at a higher risk for developing depression. Cardiovascular health may also be jeopardized through the development of high blood pressure causing an increased inflammatory response.
Managing & Controlling Stress
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but there are a handful of things that are in a senior’s control which can help to stave off stress and reduce the impacts it can have on day to day life. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and making time for enjoyable activities can keep a senior busy, focusing on what they can do as opposed to their limitations. This can increase feelings of independence and self-worth which play a role in boosting physical, emotional and cognitive health. Planning for the future can also help reduce stress. Families should think about discussing future home care, financial matters and end-of-life wishes with their loved one. This can help to minimize feelings of stress and anxiety about the future. Click here to learn more about the preferred care options for seniors, in-home care in Summit.
If the stress becomes too much, the senior should discuss this was a primary care physician who can recommend certain courses of action such as medication, counseling or even companionship care which can often provide the socialization and in-home assistance seniors need to remain happy, healthy and stress free.
For more information about senior stress or companionship care, contact Home Care Assistance of Summit today. We offer Summit hourly care services which range from help 4 to 24 hours a day and also provide specialty care for seniors with advanced conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or Parkinson’s. Call us at 908.450.9400 for more information or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.