Stress in Seniors
Common symptoms of stress in the elderly include: chronic muscle aches and pains, headaches, chest pain, a pounding heart, sleeping difficulties, weight loss or gain, and an upset stomach.
The mood of a stressed out elderly individual may be erratic, resulting in a short temper, and others may be blamed for the difficulties faced. For some elderly individuals, stress leads to more complex problems, such as depression, or may result in a complete withdrawal from everyday activities.
Elderly people should be encouraged to find and maintain social contact as interaction will often make a considerable difference to their lives.
How to relax
Relaxation techniques can aid elderly individuals in reducing the amount of stress that they feel. Popular relaxation techniques for elderly are:
- Muscle Relaxation
In this technique, participants are encouraged to focus on tensing up and then releasing and relaxing the muscles in their main muscle groups, including their shoulders, arms, fingers, legs and toes.
This technique involves participants imagining partaking in their favorite activity in a beautiful place, such as relaxing on a sandy beach in the Mediterranean, standing on the top of a mountain in the Alps or swimming in a crystal clear lake in the Caribbean. Read about visualization!
- Gentle Exercise
Non-strenuous exercises, such as Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi, are popular amongst the elderly, allowing them to gently stretch and strengthen their bodies while focusing on their breathing techniques.
- Listening To Calming Music
Soothing music can help to ease fear and anxiety in the elderly.
The elderly face stress from a range of sources, many of which are different to those that cause stress in younger individuals. However, this does not mean that stress in the elderly is insignificant. Stress can be resolved in the elderly just as easily as it can in the young. The key to combating stress is to recognize it early and to treat it appropriately.
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