There are many unique circumstances that affect seniors and can make them more prone to ongoing anxiety, stress, and depression. If you’re a senior, of if you’re a caregiver for an elderly adult, it’s important to be aware of the causes and ways to mitigate stress in older adults.
Stress can affect seniors more intensely and more frequently than their younger counterparts. For seniors, the most common stressors include health, finances, and social life.
As we get older, health issues often increase which can be difficult for overall wellbeing. In the elderly, stress often manifests in physical ways such as sleep problems, fatigue, change in appetite, muscle tension, pain, stomach upset, and more. If someone already has chronic health conditions, the effects of stress can further exacerbate the symptoms, and can make certain health conditions more severe, like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Being constantly stressed also makes your immune system weaker and makes your body more susceptible to illness. Care managers have the ability to help seniors with managing chronic health conditions, through assisting with doctors’ appointments, medication management, coordinating treatment options, and much more.
Financial concerns are a stress factor for everyone, but especially seniors. Aging comes with increased costs of living, due to increasing health care needs, costs of procedures, surgeries, and medications, as well as the costs associated with daily assistance and caregiving. Unexpected life events can be overwhelming for seniors and having the assistance of a care manager is beneficial for seniors. An experienced geriatric care manager can help with easing this burden by helping lower the costs associated with care, through partnerships with financial planners, by assisting in streamlining care expenses by making sure that services are not being duplicated, and by advocating for what is in the senior’s best interests.
Isolation and loneliness affect seniors more than most, as they are more likely to face challenges such as the loss of friends and family, decreased mobility, chronic illness, and living alone. Being isolated often leads to an increase in poor habits, such as excessive or poor eating, neglect of physical health and activity, and potential substance abuse. Seniors who are lonely are also at an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia or cognitive decline. Not only does a care manager help through regular home visits but they also make sure that symptoms don’t go unnoticed, and they facilitate social opportunities in ways that meet the needs of the older adult.
Although these stressors exist, you can take comfort in the fact that you do not have to face these challenges alone. We’re here to help make the transitions that come with aging as seamless as possible.
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 765-341-9295 or email us at Shannon@AgingLifeCareConsultants.com. We’ll be happy to assist!