Stress management is important in the senior years because it can boost cognitive health and reduce the risk of many age-related diseases. To avoid these issues, older adults need to find productive ways to control their stress levels. Here are some tips that can reduce stress in a senior loved one.
1. Serve Fewer Caffeinated Beverages
High amounts of caffeine can prolong elevated levels of cortisol in a senior’s body. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, and too much of it can lead to depression, heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes. Older adults who consume high levels of caffeine may feel good for a short time because the caffeine increases dopamine in the body. However, when it wears off, they’ll likely feel low.
2. Encourage Laughter
Laughing relieves the stress response, and it can also relax muscles, relieving tension. The more seniors laugh, the stronger their immune systems can become. Laughing can also enhance mood and reduce the risk of chronic stress, depression, memory loss, and insomnia. Some of the best ways to get your parent to laugh are telling jokes, watching a comedy film or television show, and playing humorous games.
3. Develop a Schedule
Procrastination is one of the most common causes of stress among older adults. They often procrastinate because they’re unorganized, which can be remedied by developing a schedule and sticking with it. When seniors stay on top of their priorities, they’re less likely to procrastinate. Help your loved one develop a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule that includes important errands, appointments, and social activities.
Seniors with cognitive limitations may find it difficult to create and follow a schedule on their own. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elder care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
4. Play Music
Music can increase the positive thoughts going through your parent’s mind. The music may take your loved one’s focus off negative situations in life while increasing relaxation and boosting self-esteem. The sound of the music could alleviate tension in your loved one’s body and lower his or her anxiety levels.
5. Encourage Saying No More Often
High levels of stress can be caused by taking on too much, which is why aging adults need to learn how to say no from time to time. If your loved one doesn’t feel like going out of the house for the day, he or she is entitled to say no. Participating in activities is great for older adults, but they’re allowed to say no when their bodies are tired. Encouraging your loved one to speak up when people ask too much of him or her could reduce stress and boost overall health.
Caregivers need stress relief, too, so they should also give themselves permission to say no every once in a while. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Richmond families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
6. Promote Physical Activity
Physical activity produces endorphins, which are natural chemicals that can calm the nerves and reduce stress. After exercising, seniors may feel more relaxed and energized instead of depressed and sad. Some of the best stress-busting exercises for aging adults are:
- Bike riding
- Tai chi
Stress can have a number of unhealthy physical and emotional effects on seniors, so lowering stress levels is an important part of boosting your parent’s overall wellbeing. In Richmond, at-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. Call one of our Care Managers at (804) 207-4746 to learn about our customized in-home care plans.