Stress is normal and occurs when our brains sense there is some sort of danger and releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These substances increase blood pressure and heart rate and give a person more energy. Experiencing this occasionally is normal and not harmful. However, if stress levels surge and the human body is always on alert, it could lead to long-term repercussions including depression, anxiety, and even a weakened immune system. This is especially so for the elderly, who can experience more severe mental and physical effects when they are under stress. This is why it is important to ensure that they stay in a conducive environment and know how to manage stress. Read on to find out more about stress in the elderly and how to manage it.
Effects of Stress on Seniors
When the elderly get stressed out, it can result in cognitive changes. Although sleep is important for people to deal with stress, one common problem is that the elderly are unable to sleep due to stress. This results in a vicious cycle of sleep problems and stress. Some common symptoms of stress that the elderly experience include indigestion, back pain, tension headaches, poor concentration, bad moods, heart palpitations, and they can get extremely emotional as well. Hence, it is important for them to learn how to manage the stress they are facing.
Physical Activity Can Reduce Stress
Regular physical activity is an excellent way to reduce stress in the elderly. Some options that they can consider include walking or hiking, dance classes, yoga classes, or even personal training programs. When they exercise, a “feel good” hormone is released within their body that helps to fight stress and calm the elders that deal with anxiety issues.
Join a Support Group
One of the biggest contributors to stress is grief. In cases where they have lost friends or spouses, they could be undergoing a lot of grief, which may ultimately result in stress. If this is the case, it is important to find people to confide in and open up to. A support group can introduce the elders to many other like-minded people who may be dealing with the same things.
Introduce a Pet to Their Lifestyle
Granted, having a pet is not for everyone as it is a huge commitment and could be physically demanding. For those who are up for it, pets have been proven to tremendously reduce stress, and increase physical exercise for the elderly. If they yearn for companionship and are up to the task of taking care of a pet, they can consider getting one.
Talk to a Professional
Another way to manage stress is to talk to a professional. Having a listening ear can be extremely helpful and relieve stress in tangible ways. Professionals can also render appropriate assistance that the elders need.
Here at Conservatory At Alden Bridge, we understand that many people deal with stress and are constantly anxious. We prioritize all our residents and do our best to ensure that they are in the pink of health both physically and mentally. We do so by providing a holistic environment, as well as the support that they need. Feel free to contact us to find out more about what we have to offer today.