Stress Awareness Month is here, and that means that it is time to assess the mental wellbeing of your senior loved ones. Often, seniors hide their stress from family and friends, yet they may give off subtle signs they are struggling emotionally.
Changes in Eating Habits
When stress builds up, it can wreak havoc on a senior’s appetite. Yet, it is important to understand that some seniors will stop eating while others will eat more. Take note of your loved one’s behavior at meal times. If you notice that they tend to push their food around on their plate or their food expires in the refrigerator, then they may be stressed. Weight fluctuations are another indicator of a senior who is overburdened by stress.
Fluctuating Sleep Habits
According to Jefferson County elder care professionals, a person’s sleep patterns are one of the first things to be affected by stress. Seniors may experience insomnia or wake up frequently throughout the night. However, some seniors may experience excessive sleepiness and begin napping more often during the day.
A senior who once let things roll off their back that suddenly starts claiming everything is a crisis may be overreacting to stress. When this happens, you may notice that your loved one uses minor everyday incidents as a way to take their mind off of the real issues at hand. For example, a senior may declare an emergency over a bad haircut, when they are really worried about results from a recent medical test.
Skipping Social Activities
Stress sometimes leads seniors to withdraw from their family and friends. Unfortunately, isolation sets up a vicious cycle for stress since social support is important for helping seniors cope with feelings of anxiety and depression. If you notice that your loved one stops being as social as they once were, then it is especially important to continue offering companionship as they work through their stress.
For more information on promoting the mental and emotional wellbeing of a senior loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We provide hourly, respite, and live-in home care for seniors in Jefferson County, ensuring seniors have the help they need to remain healthy, safe, and happy in the comfort of home. Learn more by scheduling a free in-home consultation with a friendly Care Manager. Call (303) 987-5992 today.