We all face stress in life. Some stress is ok, it’s a natural physical and mental reaction to the experiences we go through. For short-term situations, stress can be beneficial. It can help you cope with serious or dangerous situations by triggering your “fight-or-flight” mechanisms or help motivate you when under tight deadlines. However, if your stress levels continue for an extended period, it can have harmful effects on your overall health.

For seniors, stress has the potential to be devastating. As we age, we experience different physical and medical limitations, and the effects of stress can sometimes exacerbate health conditions. Heart health and lung capacity can decline over time, which makes it more difficult to handle your body’s response to stress. Stressful situations cause your breathing and heart to race, which may be more stressful on a weaker body.

As they advance in age, elderly adults experience certain types of stressors like health problems and death more often than younger people. Deteriorating health, increased dependence on others, healthcare costs, losing family members, friends, pets, and spouses, can all contribute to the stress of seniors.

It’s important to be proactive about finding ways to manage stress before the damage is irreparable.

Some of the signs of chronic stress in older adults are:
– Irritability and moodiness
– Negative feelings or attitude
– Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
– Excessive worrying
– Physical discomfort, such as headaches, chest pains or stomach problems
– Shortness of crying
– Problems sleeping
– Changes in appetite or eating habits

The symptoms of chronic stress often develop gradually, and it’s important for the family caregivers of seniors to know and recognize stress factors and take steps to help alleviate their effects. With help, seniors can combat stress and the negative effects of it. Creating a personalized plan to help seniors deal with stressful situations and help minimize the pressures they face is just part of the services we can offer as a care manager. We also can share ideas of how the family caregivers can reduce their stress.

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 585-787-0009 or email us at lmiraglia@seniorschoicecare.com. We’ll be happy to assist!