Tips for Lowering Stress in Your Aging Loved One

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Stress can wreak havoc on the health of people of all ages, but it’s especially dangerous for seniors. When combined with preexisting medical conditions, prescription medications, and advancing age, stress can raise the risk for high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, and depression. Here are some ways to lower your senior loved one’s stress levels so he or she can relax and feel more hopeful.

Monitor Pain Levels

Chronic or severe pain can lead to stress and anxiety in elderly people. Make sure your loved one takes pain medications as prescribed so his or her pain threshold isn’t exceeded. If there’s a new onset of pain, make an appointment with your loved one’s physician so the source of pain can be identified. Once the pain has been treated, your loved one may feel better, both physically and psychologically. 

Stress is one of many components that can contribute to decreased mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. Kingwood families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Encourage Exercise

Even mild forms of exercise such as walking can diminish stress in seniors. Exercise relieves stress, and it can also increase mobility, decrease pain, lower blood pressure, and enhance sleep quality. While exercise can lower your loved one’s stress levels, always check with a physician before encouraging participation in a new activity regimen. To further boost the stress-busting effects of exercise, encourage your loved one to exercise outdoors in the sunshine so his or her body can better manufacture vitamin D. Vitamin D may play an important role in stress reduction while promoting healthy bones and robust immune function. Many seniors are deficient in vitamin D because they don’t consume diets rich in dairy products or fatty fish or spend enough time in the sun.

Seniors who don’t manage their stress levels well could develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves independently. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Kingwood live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.

Offer Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps people maintain healthy cardiovascular systems while lowering the risk for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. People who are deficient in magnesium often experience elevated stress levels and insomnia. Encourage your loved one to consume magnesium-rich foods such as nuts and bananas. Before suggesting a high-magnesium diet, ask the physician if it will interact with any of your loved one’s prescription medications. If consumed in large amounts, magnesium may interact with beta blockers, raising the risk for bradycardia, a heart rate that is too low.

Provide Reassurance

Sometimes, lowering stress levels in seniors is as simple as offering reassurance and comforting words. Aging adults may be anxious because of health conditions, the loss of a spouse, reduced independence, or dwindling finances. Encouraging your loved one to talk freely about his or her concerns may bring peace and resolution to conflicts and help him or her sleep better and have a better attitude about the future. While providing reassurance can be an effective intervention, it’s no substitute for professional mental health treatment when your loved one is living with severe anxiety or depression.

Stress can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Kingwood, home care service agencies can 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 you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 832-412-1345.