April is Stress Awareness Month, which makes it a perfect time for family caregivers to evaluate their elderly loved one’s stress levels and see what they can do to alleviate it. Many family members don’t realize the dangers of stress in elderly adults and may not recognize the symptoms. Over time, stress can have serious negative health effects.
How Can Stress Be Dangerous?
When stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol flood the body, most adults can weather the physical effects and return to a more relaxed state. However, elderly people are affected by age and that means their bodies can’t hold up as well. They are more susceptible to negative health effects brought on by this overload of stress hormones. Because seniors are often already dealing with physical health issues, stress only makes them worse off.
Chronic stress can lead to issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, panic attacks, chest pain, insomnia, indigestion, weakened immune system, heartburn, anxiety, and poor appetite. As their bodies are already weakened by stress, seniors are more likely to develop other illnesses and chronic conditions. Studies show that long-term stress can accelerate aging and even shorten a person’s life. Family caregivers can do a lot to alleviate stress in their loved ones and help them avoid the poor health associated with it.
Managing Stress in Elderly Adults.
Family caregivers must do everything they can to eliminate the causes of stress in their elderly loved one’s life. Some of the common causes of senior stress include financial issues, transportation problems, loneliness, and moving away from their home. Most of these kinds of stressors can be resolved. For example, if an elderly person is no longer able to drive themselves to appointments and social gatherings, family members can hire a home care assistant to help them. If the seniors fear going to a retirement home, family members can look into home care agencies to allow their relative to age at home.
Some stress cannot really be resolved, such as the loss of a spouse, medical issues, chronic pain, and fear of their own mortality. However, there are many things that elderly adults can do to manage the effects of stress on their mind and body. Effective stress-busters include exercise, a healthy diet, meditation, good books and music, and regular medical checkups. Having a good support group of family members, friends, home care assistants, and community services can certainly help elderly adults bear the burdens of stress. Studies show that socializing and engaging in activities can provide a lot of stress relief in elderly adults.
When it comes to dealing with stress, elderly adults may need that extra help from their family members. Everyone should take advantage of all the information available during Stress Awareness Month and pledge to reduce sources of stress and better manage life’s challenges.
If you or an loved-one are considering professional caregiver services in Quakertown, PA, talk to Unlimited Staffing Solutions. Specializing in Home and Community Based Support Waiver Services Since 2001. Please Call Us for Your Home Care Needs (215) 447-713