Top Causes of Stress During the Senior Years

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Because seniors often enjoy a slower pace of life, it can be easy to forget they still experience stress. Stress can alter a senior’s mood and aggravate certain medical conditions, making it important for families providing care to be aware of potential problems. Although everyone is different, there are several stressors that are common in aging populations.

Grief

As people age, they lose many of the people they love. Friends and former classmates and coworkers start to pass away with alarming frequency, triggering the pain of loss. These losses are traumatic in and of themselves, but they also serve to remind your senior loved one that he or she is getting older, which can lead to further stress.

It should come as no surprise that the loss of a spouse or partner can result in a wide range of emotions, including stress. After having lived with their partners for decades, many seniors completely forget what life is like living alone. In addition to being around your loved one as much as possible, you should also consider signing him or her up for grief counseling.

Loneliness

If your loved one has limited mobility, the opportunities to go out and meet with friends or make new ones also become limited. Instead, your loved one must rely on others to visit him or her, which can be especially difficult if his or her friends are experiencing similar complications. Hearing loss can also make conversations and visits challenging. All of these factors can contribute to a sense of isolation and lead to stress.

Loss of Independence

Aging can make it difficult to maintain independence, and your loved one may be realizing more and more decisions are being made for him or her. The doctor may decide your loved one can no longer drive, and you or other family members may start to choose your parent’s menus and select your loved one’s clothing for him or her. Seniors who still have their independence fear the loss of it, and those who are slowly starting to lose it may fear what decisions will be taken from them next.

The fear of losing their independence can be especially stressful for seniors who have been diagnosed with dementia. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Wellesley families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

Pain & Illness

Seniors often experience aches and pains, and they’re also more likely to have chronic illnesses and acute infections. Current medical conditions and the fear of future problems can contribute to stress in the elderly. Even if your loved one is healthy, he or she may start to worry things won’t stay the same, creating stress even when he or she isn’t currently experiencing pain or illness.

Changes in physical health often lead to stress, which can negatively impact a senior’s overall wellbeing. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Cognitive Decline

Cognitive decline often progresses gradually, and some seniors don’t realize anything is wrong until their family members notice the early warning signs. One of the best ways to identify cognitive decline in its early stages is to schedule regular checkups with a neurologist throughout the year. If you notice your loved one starting to experience any unusual mental or intellectual issues, start tracking those symptoms so you can tell the doctor during your loved one’s next appointment.

If you’re concerned about your loved one experiencing stress, one of the best things you can do to alleviate his or her anxiety is provide support and encouragement. When researching agencies that provide elder care, Wellesley, MA, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance. Call one of our trusted Care Managers today at (781) 239-0060 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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