5 Ways to Reduce Stress in the Elderly

By 9  am on

How to Reduce Stress in the Elderly in Des Moines, IA

Upon retirement, seniors find they have more time on their hands. Many occupy themselves with hobbies, travel, or spending time with loved ones. However, some seniors may not have enough to do, which leaves too much time to dwell on negative thoughts. There are several ways families can help their aging loved ones relieve anxiety and stress.

1. Provide Mental Stimulation

By keeping their minds busy with positive activities, seniors have less time to entertain the thoughts that create stress. Encourage your loved one to read, work on puzzles, or play video games. The more time spent on productive mental stimulation, the less time he or she has to engage in worry, anxiety, and stress. Perhaps give your loved one CDs of his or her favorite music or DVDs featuring beloved movies or TV series. While helping your loved one relax and be entertained, multimedia options also divert attention away from negativity.  Stress is one of many components that can contribute to decreased mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

2. Make Dietary Changes

Unhealthy diets stress the body by lacking high-quality nutrients. Fast foods and processed foods are typically laden with too much fat, salt, sugar, and calories while being devoid of vitamins and minerals. A lack of beneficial nutrients contributes to inflammation, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and unnecessary weight gain. An unhealthy diet may also cause poor mental health. Encourage your loved one to prepare meals using lean meats and fish and increase the number of fruits and vegetables consumed daily. By becoming healthier, seniors feel better and experience lower stress levels. 

3. Encourage Routine Exercise

Engaging in some type of physical activity on a regular basis can boost the function of the cardiovascular system and enhance lung function, muscle strength, and bone density. A group of researchers from the University of Illinois conducted a study to determine a possible correlation between exercise and cognitive health. Study participants walked for 40 minutes three times per week. After one year, imaging scans revealed the hippocampus regions of their brains had increased by two percent. Better cognitive function and physical fitness can alleviate anxiety and stress. Seniors who don’t manage their stress levels well could develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves on their own. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Des Moines, IA, live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.

4. Try Body Therapy

Along with exercise, various body therapies have been shown to reduce stress levels. Treat your loved one to a massage or join a tai chi class together. The act of simple body manipulation alleviates stress, normalizes vital signs, and boosts energy levels. The activities also enhance cognitive function and mental health. 

5. Increase Social Activity

During the aging process, older adults may experience hearing or vision loss, and memory may start to fade. The losses may cause seniors to feel embarrassed or self-conscious and reduce their desire to interact publicly. Isolation leads to depression, loneliness, and stress. Introduce your loved one to a local community center or senior center and encourage him or her to stay in touch with other family members and attend community events or other social activities.  Stress can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but seniors don’t have to handle them alone. In Des Moines, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (515) 264-2438 today.


    Request Free Information or
    Schedule a Free in-Home Consultation