Mildred decides it is time to give up her car. Jimmy realizes he cannot maintain his family home's yard. Pearl begins getting frustrated when she cannot remember what it is she needed at the grocery store. Ed and Sue often feel their children are taking on too much of the decision making in their lives; this lowers their self-esteem. Paul attends the funeral of yet another friend he has lost in the past year.
All of these are all too common issues people begin facing when they are older. Stress and how it is dealt with begins to change, as well.
According to a 2016 Harvard Health Publishing article ("How stress affects seniors, and how to manage it") the way people cope with stress changes as they age. The body is less able to "bounce back" like it did when younger due to the aging process. Sleep helps flush stress hormones from our brain, but it is common for older adults to suffer from sleep issues like insomnia.
What can be done about stress and its symptoms?
Frequently, research supports the importance of staying active, being social and pursuing activities that bring enjoyment help combat stress. At Catholic Charities, we are working to provide seniors with that outlet in our programming.
Our Refugee Elders Program works to improve physical and mental well-being through English classes and social group activities. This allows seniors, who are at risk of social isolation, to spend time with volunteers and friends from the refugee community. Catholic Charities is also working with seniors at Villa Maria Manor to provide wellness support in their senior community.
By visiting with seniors and listening as they cope with life's changes, Catholic Charities is providing a supportive and nurturing environment to improve the lives of older adults in the Nashville community. For more information, or if we can help in any way, please feel free to call us at 615-352-3087.
REFERENCE: Harvard Health Letter (2016). How stress affects seniors, and how to manage it. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/aging/how-stress-affects-seniors-and-how-to-manage-it.