5 Tips for Lowering Stress in Seniors

Stress levels in seniors can escalate as a result of current medical conditions, money worries, loneliness, and depression. It’s important that the source of stress be identified so an effective treatment plan can be implemented. Here are five tips for lowering stress in a senior loved one. 

1. Promote Socialization

Social isolation isn’t uncommon in older adults and can contribute to stress, depression, and anxiety. To prevent your loved one from becoming socially isolated, schedule outings on a regular basis. If you’re unable to take your loved one to social events because of work obligations or family commitments, ask family or friends to schedule activities. When seniors are active and socialize with others in their peer groups, they may have a better outlook on life and lower stress levels.For families considering an Edmonton care home for their senior parents, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with the activities of daily living. At Butterfly Dreams Respite Care, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in safety and comfort.

2. Watch for Medication Side Effects

Many medications can cause significant side effects, which can lead to stress and anxiety. For example, if your loved one takes decongestants to manage allergies, he or she may experience palpitations, insomnia, and anxiety. Diuretics can also cause side effects that mimic symptoms of anxiety, and stress levels may rise. If you notice an increase in stress or anxiety after your loved one takes medication, make an appointment with his or her physician to reduce the dosage or discontinue the offending medication altogether. 

3. Encourage Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise releases chemicals in the brain known as endorphins. Also known as "feel-good" hormones, endorphins lower stress levels, promote feelings of wellbeing, reduce the perception of pain, and promote restorative sleep. Exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous for it to have beneficial effects on stress. Even taking a slow-paced walk can relieve stress, enhance lung function, and increase range of motion. When their aging loved ones need respite care, Edmonton, Alberta, families know it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Butterfly Dreams Respite Care, our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

4. Maintain Nutrition

Consuming foods rich in magnesium may lower stress levels in seniors. Encourage your loved one to eat magnesium-rich foods such as bananas and walnuts to alleviate anxiety, restore optimal sleep patterns, and support heart health. If your loved one is unable to eat nuts or bananas because of gastrointestinal issues or other conditions, ask the physician if your loved one can take a low-dose magnesium supplement. While magnesium supplements are considered safe when taken in low doses, they may interfere with certain medications. Also, high-dose magnesium supplements may lead to abdominal cramping and diarrhea. 

5. Try Pet Therapy

Interacting with a dog or cat is an excellent way to lower stress in elderly individuals. Pet therapy is thought to play an important role in reducing anxiety and stress levels, and it may even lower blood pressure in hypertensive seniors. If your loved one is unable to care for a pet at home, schedule trips to the local animal shelter so he or she can interact with the animals. If your parent enjoys spending time at the shelter, he or she may want to consider volunteer opportunities. Physical and emotional challenges are common for many aging adults, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Edmonton, respite care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Butterfly Dreams Respite Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call us today at 587-804-4348 to learn about ways our experienced caregivers can help your loved one.