Let’s be honest, life has been stressful these past few years, especially for seniors! Whether it’s personal issues, physical problems, or issues related to the economy, pandemic-related, or other events, it’s been a stressful period.
But there’s also help in the form of calming techniques that seniors can learn in these stressful times.
One out of five people age 55 or older experience some type of mental health concern in a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Common mental health conditions include anxiety, severe cognitive impairment, and mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder, according to the CDC.
Unfortunately, mental health issues can contribute to suicide in the most severe cases. Men age 85 or older are the most susceptible senior-age age group, according to the CDC.
One Important Thing for Good Mental Health
Social support is one of the most important aspects of good mental health in seniors. The benefits of a network of social support includes:
- Emotional support, such as sharing problems or venting emotions
- Informational support, such as advice and guidance
- Instrumental support, such as providing rides or helping with housekeeping
While 90% of adults age 50 and over say they have adequate amounts of support, it isn’t that way for all seniors. About 10% of adults age 65 or older say they were more likely than adults age 50-64 to report that they “rarely” or “never” received the social and emotional support they needed.
For non-white populations, it’s something similar. In the Hispanic population, about 20% of them, as well as other non-Hispanic adults age 65 or older, said they did not receive the support they need.
Older men are more affected than women in these instances. Older men told the CDC that they are more likely than women to “rarely” or “never” receive the support they need.
Five Ways to Deal With Stress
So how can seniors deal with stress. There’s a number of ways and methods that can help people reduce or deal with stress:
- Go for a walk and enjoy nature. This is especially timely during spring, after a sweet-smelling rain, or as flowers and trees bloom, and the weather warms.
- Listen to relaxing music or sounds. Instrumental music, or the sound of gentle waves, a mountain stream, or even rain are noted for their calming effects.
- Pray or meditate. Find a quiet place in a comfortable position to help you find peace.
- Be aware of your breathing. Practice deep, controlled breathing to help slow your heart, lower your blood pressure and calm your senses.
- Turn off your television, step away from your computer, and put down your phone. Take some time to enjoy your surroundings and escape the busyness of the world.
A CARING-FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Senior living communities like Bellaire at Stone Port are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life.
At Bellaire at Stone Port, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!