The Most Common Sources of Stress in the Elderly

There is no such thing as a person who isn’t subject to the threat of stress. It’s part of the human condition, unfortunately. However, it is a part that we can manage and, aside from finding stress relief strategies, the best way to manage it is to address the causes. If you have an older loved one in your life who seems to be having a tougher time of it, here are some of the sources of stress you may be able to help them with.


Source


Post-retirement changes

While we may look forward to retirement, we spend the vast majority of our life programmed to spend our time working. As such, when we stop, we find that our days can feel empty, even meaningless. Helping a loved one find a new community and new past-times after retirement can help them fill that void and discover new value in their life.


Medical stress

Health problems are a fact of life, but they are one that we can do a lot to address. Yet, a lot of older people have anxieties about visiting the doctor or may find it difficult to know when to look for help with their health issues. Helping manage their appointments can open the route to health care that might otherwise be blocked off with them. Listening to their health concerns and letting them know that it’s okay to seek help is valuable, too.


Losing independence

Alongside aging comes the risk of physical deterioration. Our range of movement, balance, and strength can fail us. We can aim to improve things with exercise, but it’s important to accept that we cannot always be as independent as we once were. The right kinds of care, such as home care services, can help us live as independently as our health allows, however. We don’t always need to look at the nursing home as a first option.


Isolation

Loneliness is the single greatest risk facing the growing population of elderly people. This is especially true right now, when lockdown has households isolated from one another. There are ways to help, however, such as taking care to visit in the safest way possible or making sure your loved one has a phone they can use so you can call them to catch up on a daily basis.


Loss

Though we all have to deal with it at some stage in our lives, addressing the issue of loss can be one of the most difficult. No matter what age we are, grief can be difficult to deal with, but you can help. Listening and helping them process the loss, as well as giving them the space to talk about their memories and relationship, can help them.

Relieving stress isn’t so easy as taking care of the source alone, as it can nestle in the mind well beyond that initial stressor. However, it can help, so don’t neglect to take a closer look at what might at the root of your loved one’s pain.

Sources of Stress and Interview with the Vampire (aka STRESS)