In many ways, stress represents one of the few permanent components of life. At just about every point in our journey, a stressor – whether positive or negative – will arise. For older adults, the stressors that accompany middle age, like raising children and career responsibilities, are exchanged for others. Seniors may begin to worry about their health deteriorating, lack of independence, financial management, and the death or illness of close friends and relatives. All of these worries and concerns are natural. What’s ultimately most important is that seniors cope with stress healthily. Not doing so can lead to trouble down the road.
A study out of the University of Cambridge in 2007 noted that the risk of stroke was 24% less for those who coped healthily with stressful life events.
Several studies have shown that stress is linked to a number of mental and physical problems, from anxiety and depression to hypertension and immune system complications. In fact, it’s estimated that stress increases the risk of heart disease by 40%, heart attack by 25%, and stroke by 50%. Not to mention the fact that stress can also exacerbate existing conditions – which is the last thing seniors need when their immune systems are already less efficient. There’s no denying the negative effects of stress, but what can seniors do to manage their stress in a positive way?
Fortunately, there are stress relief techniques that seniors can follow to help improve their own personal wellbeing. What senior clients use to manage their stress today can help better prepare them for any future stress.
Stress Relief Techniques
- Meditate at the same time every day or whenever feelings of stress or anxiety arise
- Practice deep breathing and mindfulness exercises
- Reach out to friends and family to connect and spend time together
- Follow a consistent exercise regimen and healthy diet, upon physician approval
- Journal or jot down thoughts and feelings at the end of each day – and be sure to take a moment to reflect on all the positive things that happened throughout the day
- Volunteer time in the community or neighborhood
- Put together and execute a to-do list to increase productivity, decrease feelings of restlessness, and combat procrastination
- Join a yoga class or practice it at home (with physician approval)
- Listen to soothing or relaxing music, especially before bed
- Find a way to laugh, whether it’s by watching a funny TV show/movie or listening to a comedy album
- Take a trip out of town in order to take a break and recharge
Comfort Keepers® Can Help
At Comfort Keepers®, we have spent the last twenty years perfecting the art of helping seniors and other adults maintain their peace, happiness, and joy. To us, every moment in a senior’s life is a unique opportunity to foster positivity, going beyond daily tasks. Our approach to care is called Interactive Caregiving™, a philosophy centered around four central aspects of life: mind, body, nutrition, and safety.
What’s more, our trained caregivers are selected with one specific quality in mind: empathy. Care that is empathetic is care that starts in the heart, and it allows us to meet our clients’ exact needs.
Learn more about our unique service offering by contacting a Comfort Keepers location nearest you.
Healthline. “16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety.” Web. 2018.
Huffington Post. “10 Health Benefits of Relaxation” by Sarah Klein. Web. 2014.
American Institute of Stress. “Stress is Killing You” Infographic, originally created by MastersDegreeOnline.org.
WebMD. “10 Relaxation Techniques That Zap Stress Fast.” Web. 2018.