Our aging loved ones have a lot to deal with as they face the aging process. It’s important for those of us who are caring for them to pause and take notice of stressors in their lives and seek out ways to alleviate that stress.
Simple Ways to Alleviate Stress
Here are some simple ways that you, as the caregiver or loved one, can use to help the aging process go as smoothly as possible:
Set Realistic Goals
Many seniors have a long to-do list to keep up with, including doctor’s visits and trips to the store. This can be taxing on your loved one. The disruption in her schedule can take its toll both physically and mentally. Be sure to allow ample time for your loved one to rest while tackling the to-do list. Also, extra time for transportation will eliminate the stress that goes along with being late.
Adhere to Their Schedule
Too many changes can be stressful for anyone. As your loved one ages, it only adds to the difficulty adjusting to a new way of life. Take the time to note her usual schedule including wake time, meal times, and bed time. Do what you can to uphold the schedule she is accustomed to, giving her a sense of familiarity and limiting the stress.
Make Activities Appropriate
Our senior friends may have limitations of which we need to be aware. A shopping trip that requires your loved one to be on her feet for a couple of hours may be overtaxing. A situation where she is surrounded by lots of people and noise may be exhausting. If these types of scenarios cannot be avoided, consider ways to alleviate the stress such as using a wheelchair at the store or taking her home early from the event. Your loved one will be able to participate in the activities she enjoys with a measure of comfort.
Your loved one may be living on a fixed income. The cost of travel, gifts, special meals, etc., will add up quickly. Keep in mind the limitations, and encourage her to stick with her budget. To help her with this, you can let go of the expectation of gifts, treat her to the special meals, and offer to give her a ride, among other things. You’ll be relieving the burden of financial stress.
Encourage Social Interaction
As your loved one ages, she’ll begin to lose close friends and family members. This can be very isolating and depressing. On special occasions or during the holidays, you may find your loved one hiding behind a closed door at home. It’s important to be around people, especially during holidays and birthdays or other special occasions. Encourage your loved one to socialize, even if it’s for a few brief moments. It’ll remind her that she’s loved.
Take a Deep Breath
Seniors and their caregivers face a lot of stress every day. These tips can go a long way in helping, but sometimes you simply need to pause and take a deep breath. This is not an easy path you’re on, but it doesn’t have to be riddled with stressful situations.
We’re Here to Help
Take a deep breath, then give us a call so we can use our expertise to alleviate some of the stress that comes with aging and caring for our aging loved ones.