Almost everyone experiences stress from time-to-time, including those aged 65+. Stress in the elderly is typically caused by late-life events like the death of a spouse, financial difficulties or a chronic illness. Unfortunately, chronic stress can cause serious health problems that interfere with a senior’s ability to age in place. On the other hand, finding safe and reliable ways to decompress is one of the keys to enjoying a happier, more fulfilling life. What follows are five stress-reducing activities that most seniors can safely participate in.
Common Stressors in the Elderly
Some common triggers (stressors) for stress in older adults include:
- Loss of a spouse or other loved one
- Physical or medical limitations
- Caring for a disabled or ill spouse or partner (caregiver stress)
- Chronic illness
- Feeling isolated due to living alone
- Limited finances
- Too much unstructured time
- Changes in relationships with children
How Stress Affects Older Adults
As is the case with someone younger, when a senior gets stressed their body releases stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. If the body isn’t allowed to recover from that stress response, over time those hormones build up.
Researchers have linked the resulting stress hormone overloa