Finding ways to manage stress can offer many benefits for seniors, from improved sleep to reduced muscle tension to better moods. Effective stress management starts with identifying stressors in daily life so you can take steps to address them. To help you pinpoint the sources of your own stress, our team here at Bethesda Gardens Monument assisted living community created this list of common stressors.
Social contact is important for mental health. Unfortunately, many seniors suffer from isolation due to mobility issues, hearing and vision problems or transportation issues that make it difficult to socialize. In addition to causing feelings of loneliness and sadness, the emotional pain of isolation can trigger the body’s stress response.
Staying connected with your loved ones can help to ease isolation and the stress that it causes. Even if you can’t always see them face to face, you can still communicate virtually with videoconferencing programs like Zoom and apps such as FaceTime. Social media and email also provide opportunities to chat with family and friends. Set a goal to contact at least one person every day to nurture your relationships with others.
The death of loved ones becomes more common with age, putting seniors at an increased risk for grief, which can increase stress levels. If you’re experiencing grief, don’t be afraid to reach out to others. Talk about your loss and share memories of the person who's passed away.
The services of a grief counselor may also be beneficial. The Center for Loss and Life Transition offers a directory of counselors that can help you connect with someone in the Monument, CO, area.
Around 30% of seniors struggle to pay their monthly expenses, making financial worries another major source of stress for older adults. If you’re worried about how you’ll afford medications, utilities, food and other necessities, there are resources available to help.
The Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging has counselors available to help you explore programs that can cover the cost of various items like prescription drugs and utility bills. Signing up for the ones you qualify for can help you spread your income further and reduce financial stress.
Many seniors find themselves in the position of caring for spouses, siblings and other loved ones who are suffering from mobility issues and chronic health conditions. Both the emotional and the physical demands of serving as a caregiver can lead to stress and also increase the risk of depression and anxiety.
Seniors who are serving as a primary caregiver for a loved one can seek help from the Family Caregiver Support Center, a unit of the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments. The center offers educational programs on a variety of topics, including coping with caregiver stress.
Older adults are more at risk for a variety of medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and getting diagnosed with a health problem can be stressful. You may worry about how you’ll get to and from doctors’ appointments and pay for treatments and how your condition may limit your ability to continue with your daily activities.
Joining a support group for people who have the same condition as you can be beneficial. To find one, search the internet for the name of your condition plus the words "support group." You can also get in touch with nonprofit organizations related to the condition to learn about support programs.
Taking an active role in your health care may also help you feel more in control. Educate yourself about the condition, and don’t be afraid to ask your health care provider questions that will allow you to better understand your symptoms and treatment options. Having a loved one accompany you to appointments may also make doctors’ visits less stressful.
Today, it’s easier than ever to follow the news and learn what’s going on in the world. Cable news stations, social media and websites allow you to quickly catch up on today’s news, but the wealth of information available can become overwhelming and a source of stress.
If you find yourself frequently worrying about things you see in the news, take a break from screens. Engage in a hobby or activity that you enjoy, or head to one of the parks and open spaces in the Monument area to enjoy some fresh air.
No matter what your biggest source of stress is, following these tips may help you manage it.
*Please don't remove this section it is working with 3 TalkFurther buttons on live url