Effects Stress Can Have on Older Adults

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Stress and Its Consequences on Seniors in Oakville, ON

Many people view retirement as a relaxing and carefree stage of life. While some seniors are able to take the time after retirement to travel, engage in favourite hobbies, and meet with friends around town, others aren’t as fortunate and experience extreme stress. 

Causes of Stress for Seniors

Stress is something everyone will experience at one time or another, but seniors are often more prone to stress due to age-related factors. For example, seniors may have any or a combination of the following factors contributing to their stress:

  • Financial worries due to living off a retirement fund
  • Fear of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • A lack of clear sense, purpose, or value as a member of society
  • The inability to be independent like they were before
  • Problems thinking or doing things they could at a younger age
  • Loss of friends and relatives due to death
  • Social isolation due to medical problems

Stress is one of many components that can contribute to decreased mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Stress & Senior Health 

If these stressors are left unchecked, they can develop into more serious problems that can impact a senior’s physical and emotional health and overall quality of life. Stress can cause or make the following conditions worse in older individuals:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • High blood pressure
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Alzheimer’s and certain forms of dementia
  • Vertigo
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Auto-immune conditions

Seniors may also engage in behaviours detrimental to their health, such as consuming excessive alcohol and smoking, in an attempt to relieve some of the stress they feel. 

Seniors who don’t manage their stress levels well could develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves on their own. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Oakville, ON, live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.

How You Can Help 

If you notice your loved one seems stressed or withdrawn, it’s important to take the time to speak with him or her about how he or she might be feeling. Acknowledging your loved one’s feelings and showing support is a great first step in alleviating stress, and it can also begin a conversation about serious issues such as financial planning or the possible need for long-term care. 

Another option to alleviate stress is in-home care. For seniors, stress often arises as the result of the fear of health conditions or losing independence. When an in-home caregiver is able to support a senior, the senior is able to maintain as much of his or her independence and regular routine as possible. Doing so can contribute greatly to a higher sense of self-worth while minimizing stress. 

Stress can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Oakville, 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. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (905) 592-0085.

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