There’s a certain amount of stress that is just a part of life. But extreme amounts of stress over extended periods of time are not healthy at all for your aging family member. Learning what is causing her to feel stressed can help you and your elder care provider to find solutions that work for her.
Your elderly family member’s health is different now than it was even a few years ago and she’ll continue to experience changes to her health. If she’s already dealing with chronic or serious acute health issues, she may be extremely aware that her health can change very quickly. Dealing with even minor health issues can be stressful for everyone involved. Major health issues just make the situation even more complicated.
Daily Life Challenges
Daily life brings with it a variety of different challenges for your senior, too, ranging from keeping her home clean to managing her own personal care needs. These are called activities of daily living, or ADLs. When those ADLs become too challenging, your elderly family member may find herself making decisions about what gets done and what doesn’t. It can be stressful to feel as if she can’t keep up with activities that help her to live the life that she wants to be living.
When your elderly family member doesn’t feel safe in her home, she may make some choices that seem strange at first. She may stop moving around her home as much, for instance, if she’s afraid of falling. Or she may be concerned about incontinence, so she stops drinking as much water as she needs to be drinking. Having home care providers around can help your elderly family member to be a lot safer and less afraid to live her life.
Losing independence is a huge concern for aging adults and it’s a worry that causes a great deal of stress. From your senior’s perspective, she may be worried that any change in her life can cause her to no longer be able to make her own choices and live her life on her own terms. It’s important to support her independence as much as possible, even with adding help from elder care providers.
Lack of Socialization
When your senior doesn’t have the opportunity to socialize with other people like she did in the past, it can cause her serious stress. Working with elder care providers helps to alleviate some of that stress because your senior has companionship on a consistent basis. Caregivers are also able to help your elderly family member to stick to her routines, which can include meeting up with people she likes spending time around.
Even if it seems like your elderly family member isn’t experiencing stress, you might be surprised to find out that she has a lot more concerns about her life and her future than she is sharing with you. Try talking with her about what’s causing her to feel more stressed and what you can do to help.