Stress in the Elderly

“Every stress leaves an indelible scar, and the organism pays for its survival after a stressful situation by becoming a little older.”

~ Hans Selye

 

Often getting older is seen as a simple and stress free time of life. You no longer have the pressure and stress of raising a family and running a career. Why, you’ve now got all the time in the world to relax and enjoy your life. And while there may be much to enjoy – grandchildren, hobbies etc. there are also a lot of concerns. We should acknowledge the stress of ageing, and take appropriate steps to deal with the symptoms.

 

 

There are a number of factors that can cause or aggravate stress in older people:

  • Financial concerns
  • Loss of status
  • Caring for an ill relative
  • Death of relatives, close friends or pets
  • Concerns about ill-health
  • Fear of becoming unable to live independently
  • Fear of mental deterioration
  • Chronic loneliness
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Worries about family who may not be close

Some common symptoms of stress:

  • Insomnia and poor sleep patterns
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Constant anxiety and worry
  • Poor concentration and forgetfulness
  • Feelings of sadness and uselessness
  • Loss of self-worth and lack of interest in surroundings

 

Stress management:

Often the cause of the stress is unavoidable (i.e. bereavement or illness), but we still need to find ways of managing the symptoms. Stress can be the trigger for a number of mental and physical illnesses, but if properly managed, the onset and severity of many of these illnesses can be reduced.

The easy way to avoid the symptoms of stress is to keep happy, stay active and socialise regularly. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done, and a lot of older people find it extremely difficult to acknowledge the need for help.

How we can help:

The healing power of physical touch has been proven over and over again, but it is a sad fact that as we get older, so there are fewer opportunities to share a hug or hold a hand. This is where massage can be extremely beneficial. It has been proven to relax, soothe and ease the symptoms of stress. Regular massage can also help lower blood pressure, and improve sleeping patterns.

Talking about our concerns also becomes more difficult as we get older. Some older people have no-one to talk to; some just don’t want to bother their friends or family.

At Dorset Stress Relief we offer stress management treatments that include a range of physical treatments coupled with some stress management and relaxation techniques.

Massage has been proven to reduce the symptoms of stress and any of our massage or reflexology treatments can be used effectively. Thai Foot massage can be particularly useful for treating the elderly, as it is very easy to access and can be done fully clothed and in the comfort of your own home.

Our full stress management consultation will include a stress assessment, a massage treatment and stress management advice. We can also offer any of these as individual services, and offer a FREE 15 minute assessment with each initial consultation.

Please call to have a chat and see if I can help you.