Stress is something that we all encounter at some point in our lives. Children often experience stress during new situations, challenges of schoolwork or simply with social situations. As we become adults, we deal with the stressors of work, finance, juggling multiple commitments, and raising children.
While stress is a common factor that we all experience, stress can be particularly overwhelming for seniors. Even though many seniors have raised their families, worked a fruitful career, paid off their homes, and retired, there are still stressors that can affect them.
Why Seniors are Prone to Stress
Seniors are especially prone to feeling overwhelmed by stress. Even moderate stressors can lead to an increase in tension for older adults. Additionally, older adults often have specific circumstances that can amplify the effects of even the smallest stressors. Some causes of stress in seniors may include:
- Health changes
- Changes in mobility
- Loneliness or isolation
- Lack of purpose
- Loss of independence
Signs Your Elderly Loved One Is Stressed
The following warning signs could indicate that your elderly loved one may be feeling the effects of stress.
1. Changes in Mood. One of the first signs of stress or discomfort in seniors is mood swings. Stress can often present itself in frequent mood shifts, irritability or a general sense of sadness.
2. Changes in Eating Habits. One of the most common ways that seniors show the physical symptoms of mental stress is by varying their eating habits. They may not even realize that their eating habits have changed. Stress can often trigger a sudden loss of appetite. Additionally, stress can also spur the desire to over-eat to calm the feelings that are brought on by stress. Keeping an eye on your loved one’s diet can help you detect stress early on.
3. Mild Memory Issues. The key word here is mild. Stress can often be directly tied to minor shifts in cognitive function. For example, many seniors under stress often sporadically forget simple things that typically come naturally, such as a name or date. Overall lack of concentration is another symptom of stress in seniors.
4. Physical Symptoms. Minor physical symptoms can signify stress. These include things like general body aching, mild pain, upset stomach with no specific cause, or cold-like symptoms. Many seniors often experience difficulty falling asleep or trouble to stay asleep when they are faced with stress.
Watching a loved one struggle with stress can be disheartening and finding ways to cope can be daunting. If you are concerned about your elderly loved one who may be displaying some of the above symptoms, an assisted living community could be the answer. Contact us today to learn more about how The Arbors Assisted Living can help.