For seniors, the signs of stress often go unnoticed because they are perceived to be a natural part of the aging process. While stress affects each individual differently, when left untreated, it can negatively impact physical, emotional and even cognitive health. To ensure optimal quality of life for your aging loved one as he or she ages, be aware of and able to identify the following warning signs of extreme stress.
- Sudden Decrease in Appetite – Stress hormones increase when a senior is feeling burdened or anxious about day-to-day activities, leaving the body to respond by suppressing appetite. If you notice your loved one is eating less or is letting their favorite food sit on their plate, stress may be to blame.
- Extreme Fatigue – When stressed, the body wants to conserve energy and can often leave a senior with no desire to remain active, or participate in any physically taxing activity. Even simple day-to-day tasks may seem like a burden and your loved one may still appear tired even after a full night’s rest.
- Loss of Memory – Stress often stems from the inability to do something, or uncertainty about the future. If your loved one is constantly stressed and thinking about how to fix problems that are out of his or her hands, it can be easy for them to forget something you said or did in the particular moment. If you notice your loved one is becoming more forgetful, see if certain conversation points are triggering their memory loss.
- Increased Anxiety – Stress also triggers worry, fear, and apprehension in aging adults. A stressed senior may feel that their sense of control over things has slipped and can leave them questioning their future health, happiness and quality of life. The worries mount up on their shoulders until they cause even more stress, creating a vicious cycle that can have serious long-term effects.
If you are concerned that your loved one is exhibiting signs of stress, the Caledon senior care experts at Home Care Assistance encourage you to take time to sit down with him or her and discuss possible concerns. Although seniors my first be apprehensive to share their honest feelings, knowing they have support from their adult children and family members can go a long way in alleviating their stress.
For more information about caring for the emotional health of an aging parent or loved one, reach out to a friendly Care Manager at Home Care Assistance of Caledon. We would be more than happy to answer any questions and can provide you with information about our hourly and live-in caregivers in Caledon. Call us at 905-951-8885 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.