As we progress through life, our sources of stress change and evolve. Fortunately, aging typically means more happiness and less stress for older adults. Although seniors may be free from work and family stress, they still face a variety of unique health and aging concerns. Take steps to control these stressors so you can truly enjoy your senior years. Here are some of the most common causes of senior stress and how to manage them.
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Isolation and Loneliness
Losing close companions and struggling with changing physical health can lead to senior isolation and loneliness. Sadly, lonely seniors have a higher risk of physical and mental health issues like depression, anxiety, heart disease, and high blood pressure, according to the National Institute on Aging. They’re also more likely to experience cognitive decline and develop dementia. To combat loneliness, consider downsizing into a smaller home in a close-knit community where you can socialize freely.
Alternatively, think about moving into a senior-focused community. Depending on your needs, you may benefit from an assisted living or independent living community. In terms of the latter, you’ll live in close proximity to like-minded seniors and have access to all kinds of socialization and recreational opportunities while remaining completely independent in your home. These types of communities are specially designed to help seniors avoid social isolation, providing everything from fitness classes to transportation services. If this sounds like your cup of tea, visit several different facilities before choosing one. It’s important to find a place within your budget! So, keep in mind that independent living communities in Tulsa can range in price from $1,500 to $7,110 per month.
Caring for another person can be very stressful and even overwhelming at times. Seniors who provide care to an ill spouse often struggle with caregiver burnout, which can cause negative feelings associated with depression, anxiety, and guilt. If you’re a family caregiver, moving into a community with your spouse can take some weight off your shoulders. If you want to stay in your own home, consider asking family members for support or hiring in-home care services for your partner. Remember that Medicare covers a variety of home health services, including part-time skilled nursing care.
Physical and Mental Decline
Coming to terms with the changes occurring in your body and mind can be extremely discouraging, to say the least. Common physical concerns associated with aging include pain, discomfort, and a general feeling of slowing down. It’s not uncommon for seniors to worry about losing their independence in the future. In fact, one survey found that 90 percent of seniors declared loss of independence as their number one fear about aging.
Fortunately, maintaining a healthy diet and participating in a variety of exercises can help you manage age-related changes and stay strong and resilient well into your senior years. Strength and flexibility training are especially beneficial. To keep your brain sharp, try learning new skills and socializing with others whenever possible. Be sure to also see your doctor for important tests and screenings. Of course, aging itself is not preventable. Find ways to cope with the process and accept the changes that are occurring.
Seniors face a number of unique financial pressures as well, from a drop in post-retirement income to mounting healthcare costs. On top of this, U.S. News reports that people over 60 are commonly targeted by scams and manipulative marketing practices. If you’re concerned about money, track your spending and set a budget. This will show you exactly how much money you’re spending compared to how much income you’re earning, so you can make necessary changes or settle your concerns. You may even find that you have more disposable income than you thought!
Every phase of life comes with its fair share of grievances. As a senior, you have a lifetime’s worth of experience coping with stress and overcoming challenges. You’re well equipped to handle anything that comes your way, including any stressors or concerns that may threaten your happiness in your golden years.