Senior citizens face a number of challenges throughout old age. While many think that life 65 and beyond is simply enjoying retirement, that is not always the case. Though there are plenty of wonderful milestones and experiences to be had through the golden years, seniors face unique stressors that caretakers and loved ones should understand.
Research suggests nearly 15% of the elderly population suffers from a mental health disorder, and chronic stress is one of the leading issues seniors face.
Recent world events have raised these levels even further. A January 2021 study found that 28% of adults 50-80 felt depressed or hopeless within the past two weeks, and 44% reported experiencing stress.
What can we do to help seniors feel more optimistic and manage stress more? We begin by knowing the signs of stress in seniors, which may not always be obvious as we think.
Many senior citizens do not want to burden others with their problems, so they’ll avoid discussing how they feel openly. Instead, their stress may show itself through other signs. If you notice any of these, ask your loved one how they’re doing lately. Sometimes, seniors need someone to start the conversation for them to get help.
Signs of Stress in Seniors
Stress can lead to ongoing physical and psychological problems, and the American Psychological Association reveals that chronic stress can even weaken the immune system.
As a result, some of the symptoms of stress in seniors can include physical warning signs. Changes to their physical health may indicate emotional problems. Keep an eye out for:
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
- Changes to eating patterns and appetite
- Catching colds or feeling under the weather
- Physical complaints of headaches, stomachaches, muscle aches and chest pains
- More difficulty recalling information or responding in conversation
- Seeming more anxious or overwhelmed than usual
- Increased irritability or mood swings
Managing Stress Among Seniors
At Reflections Management and Care, we’re here to help. If your loved one is struggling with stress, we specialize in all aspects of senior care, including psychological well-being. Stress changes with age, so the coping skills we need should change, too.
Our life care experts can help you and your loved one recognize the signs of stress, make effective life changes and start to live more happily.
Please contact us today if you have any questions about senior health and wellness. We are always happy to share what we know.
You can also click here to learn more about our senior home services, including senior counseling.