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What Are the Most Common Causes of Stress in the Elderly?

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on April 25, 2016

Because seniors often enjoy a slower pace of life, it can be easy to forget they still experience stress. Stress can alter a senior’s mood and aggravate certain medical conditions, making it important for families providing Phoenix home care to be aware of potential problems. Though everyone is different, there are several stressors common in aging populations.

Grief

As people age, they lose many of the people they love. Friends and former classmates and coworkers start to pass away with alarming frequency, triggering the pain of loss. These losses are traumatic in and of themselves, but also serve to remind your loved one he or she is getting older, which can lead to further stress.

Loneliness

If your loved one has limited mobility, the opportunities to go out and meet with friends or make new ones also become limited. Instead, your loved one must rely on others to visit him or her, which can be especially difficult if his or her friends are experiencing similar complications. Hearing loss can also make conversations and visits challenging. All of these factors can contribute to a sense of isolation and lead to stress.

Loss of Independence

Aging can make it difficult to maintain independence, and your loved one may be realizing more and more decisions are being made for him or her. The doctor may decide your loved one can no longer drive, a nursing home dietitian may start to choose menus, and a Phoenix hourly caregiver may be selecting your loved one’s clothing for him or her. Seniors who still have their independence fear the loss of it and those who are slowly starting to lose it may fear what decisions will be taken from them next.

Pain and Illness

Seniors often experience aches and pains, and they also are more likely to have chronic illnesses and acute infections. Current medical conditions and the fear of future problems can contribute to stress in the elderly. Even if your loved one is healthy, he or she may start to worry things won’t stay the same, creating stress when there is no present pain or illness.

If you’re concerned about your loved one experiencing stress, one of the best things you can do to alleviate those feelings is provide support and encouragement. At Home Care Assistance, our compassionate caregivers are available 24/7 to offer emotional support and social stimulation and assist with a variety of tasks to help your loved one remain as independent as possible. We also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, post-stroke, and Parkinson’s home care Phoenix seniors and their families can count on. For more information on our elderly care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 602.388.1085.