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Combat Stress to Improve Your Health

March 04, 2019
It’s well known that stress can be bad for your health, leading to serious health conditions, including heart disease and depression.

Older adults commonly experience stress due to social isolation and loneliness. If they have physical or medical limitations, accomplishing daily tasks may exacerbate those health conditions and cause more worry.

Their caregivers tend to lead busy, stressful lives. When faced with the challenge of caring for family members, often in addition to a full or part-time job, caregivers may forget to take time for themselves.

Depression caused by stress affects both seniors and caregivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about seven million Americans age 65 and older experience symptoms of depression. Studies also show that a caregiver’s risk for depression is 30 times greater than that of a non-caregiver, particularly among those caring for dementia patients.

Take steps now to alleviate stress and improve your health. Here are some suggestions:
 
  • Spend time with friends, family, and pets.
  • Go outside. Try walking, hiking, biking, or gardening.
  • Make time for self-reflection. Write in a journal, meditate, or practice breathing exercises.
  • Get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and drink plenty of water.
  • Listen to music or read a good book.
  • Join a group for something you’re interested in, like a knitting club or book club.
  • Express your emotions – laugh, cry, ask for help, and seek counseling if you need it.
  • Practice self-care by taking a bath, getting a massage, or doing your nails.

Finding a program that helps you better manage care for yourself or a loved one can also relieve stress. We’ve seen firsthand how the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) can be a lifeline for seniors and caregivers. Learn more about stress-relieving senior care services included in PACE, like transportationsocial engagementrespite care, and more.
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