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6 Methods for Reducing Stress in Aging Adults

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Stress management is important in the senior years because it can boost cognitive health and reduce the risk of many age-related diseases. To avoid these issues, older adults need to find productive ways to control their stress levels. Here are some tips that can reduce stress in a senior loved one.

1. Serve Fewer Caffeinated Beverages

High amounts of caffeine can prolong elevated levels of cortisol in a senior’s body. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, and too much of it can lead to depression, heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes. Older adults who consume high levels of caffeine may feel good for a short time because the caffeine increases dopamine in the body. However, when it wears off, they will likely feel low.

2. Encourage Laughter

Laughing relieves the stress response, and it can also relax muscles, relieving tension. The more seniors laugh, the stronger the immune system could become. Laughing can also enhance mood and reduce the risk of chronic stress, depression, memory loss, and insomnia. Some of the best ways to get your parent to laugh are by telling jokes, watching a comedy film or television show, and playing humorous games.

3. Develop a Schedule

Procrastination is one of the most common causes of stress among older adults. They often procrastinate because they’re unorganized, which can be remedied by developing a schedule and sticking with it. When seniors stay on top of their priorities, they’re less likely to procrastinate. Help your loved one develop a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule that includes important errands, appointments, and social activities. 

Seniors with cognitive limitations may find it difficult to follow a schedule on their own. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Cleveland families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

4. Play Music

Music can increase the positive thoughts going through your parent’s mind. Instead of focusing on the negative situations in life, the music may take your loved one’s focus elsewhere while increasing relaxation and boosting self-esteem. The sound of the music could alleviate tension in your loved one’s body and lower his or her anxiety levels.

5. Encourage Saying No More Often

High levels of stress can be caused by taking on too much, which is why aging adults need to learn how to say no from time to time. If your loved one doesn’t feel like going out of the house for the day, he or she is entitled to say no. Participating in activities is great for older adults, but they’re allowed to say no when their bodies are tired. Encouraging your loved one to speak up when people ask too much of him or her could reduce stress and boost overall health. 

Caregivers need stress relief, too, so they should also give themselves permission to say no every once in a while. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Cleveland families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.

6. Promote Physical Activity

Physical activity produces endorphins, which are natural chemicals that can calm the nerves and reduce stress. After exercising, seniors may feel more relaxed and energized instead of depressed and sad. Some of the best stress-busting exercises for aging adults are:

• Yoga

• Dancing

• Bike riding

• Tai chi

Stress can have a number of unhealthy physical and emotional effects on seniors, so lowering stress levels is an important part of boosting their overall wellbeing. In Cleveland, home care agenciescan be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (440) 332-0170.

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