Your senior loved one may be prone to stress because of existing medical conditions, loneliness, chronic pain, or financial burdens. Excessive stress can raise the risk for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, poor sleep, and loss of appetite. Here are five things you can do to lower your loved one’s stress levels.
1. Suggest Outdoor Activity
Engaging in mild outdoor exercise can be a powerful stress reliever. Taking a leisurely nature stroll, especially when the sun is shining, can boost mood and relieve stress. Also, sun exposure helps the body produce vitamin D, which is also thought to play a role in reducing stress.
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 in-home care. El Dorado County families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans 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.
2. Monitor Sleep Habits
Getting enough restorative sleep is thought to play an important role in the reduction of depression and stress. If your loved one experiences chronic pain, cognitive deficits, or frequent nocturnal urination as a result of taking diuretic medications, he or she may be unable to sleep at night. At the first sign of insomnia, make an appointment with a physician to examine your loved one and implement a plan of care to restore an effective pattern of sleep. Once your loved one starts experiencing restful sleep patterns, stress levels may decrease.
3. Offer Nutritious Foods
When seniors fail to consume nutritious foods, dietary deficiencies can develop. If your loved one becomes deficient in B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, or potassium, he or she may experience high levels of stress and anxiety. Make sure your loved one eats nutrient-dense, healthy foods for all meals and snacks. However, if his or her appetite is poor, see the doctor to determine if your loved one has a nutritional deficiency. If so, an over-the-counter supplement may be recommended. Once deficiencies have been reversed, stress levels may be reduced.
Seniors who don’t manage their stress levels well could develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves without help. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the El Dorado County 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.
4. Encourage Socialization
Lack of socialization can cause stress in aging adults. Many seniors are socially isolated because they’re no longer able to drive or have limited mobility. Also, many older adults don’t have as many friends as they once did and don’t have any people to socialize with. To increase your loved one’s level of socialization, take him or her out to lunch or dinner on a regular basis, schedule shopping trips, suggest joining a senior or community group, and ask family and friends to visit more often.
5. Consider Pet Therapy
Exposure to animals can play a significant role in stress relief. If your loved one doesn’t have a pet, take a trip to an animal shelter or petting zoo. Animal therapy may help an anxious senior calm down if he or she is having a difficult time managing stress. If your loved one is physically and emotionally able to care for an animal, suggest adopting a dog or cat. Pet ownership also keeps seniors active and gets them outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
Stress can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but they don’t have to manage them alone. In El Dorado County, senior 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 Home Care Assistance today at (916) 358-3801 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.