Stress is harmful to seniors in so many ways. In addition to making them unhappy, stress is a contributor to a variety of serious conditions and has now been linked to memory loss. Recent studies have found a relationship between stress hormones and short term memory loss in aging adults. If haved a loved one, or someone you are caring for that is chronically stressed, here are some ways that you can help them:
Help them get Organized– Being disorganized causes seniors a lot of unnecessary stress. Have them write down all of their tasks and help them create a daily schedule. Write important dates and appointments on a calendar so that they are not forgotten. Also help them to organize any preventative maintenance that they need to do in their home or on their car to avoid problems in the future.
Help them Find Activities that they Enjoy– Life is so much sweeter when we have something to look forward to, but so many seniors fall into the rut of the daily routines that life itself almost becomes a chore. If they can find one or two social or recreational activities that they can add into their week it will reduce their stress and make them happier overall.
Encourage them to Exercise– Exercise has all sorts of wonderful benefits to our health including reducing stress. Helping them find opportunities to exercise will improve their health and make them feel more relaxed. Leverage local community centres with senior specific exercise classes, or develop a simple routine such as a chair exercise that can be done at home.
Encourage Meditation– Have you ever been exhausted just watching someone? Some people rush from one task to the next and don’t even sit down long enough to drink a cup of coffee. It’s no wonder that these folks are stressed?! If you know someone like that, encourage them to slow down. Mindful meditation can help them learn to savour the moment, which will help reduce their stress.
Help them Address any Issues– Many seniors are stressed because of unresolved issues in their lives. If that is a problem, it will be difficult to remove that stress until they deal or manage these issues. Encourage them to speak out, or better, see a counsellor.