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WELLNESS SPOTLIGHT: Seniors and stress levels

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Although many things change as we age, the presence of stress doesn’t. It can be thought of as wear and tear on the body due to constant adjustment to a changing environment.  Any changes in one’s life are bound to create some sort of stress.  For seniors, there are many changes to endure; it’s how severe the impact is and how changes are dealt with that matter.

Seniors may still face some of the old stressors in their lives, but they also deal with new ones including deaths of loved ones, retirement and living on a limited income.  To manage these changes in a healthy way, it is important to recognize the causes of stress.  It is normal for seniors to feel sad if they can no longer do things they once enjoyed.
Finding an outlet that helps you get your mind off of your concerns and physically feel relief is a great way to relax.  Consider exercise and social programs.  Your local senior or community center may offer these, for seniors of all physical abilities.  Senior aerobics, yoga and new hobbies are other great stress relievers. Stay healthy by keeping doctors appointments and talking to your doctor about stress in your life.

If you are a caregiver experiencing stress from all of the demands, remember you have needs too. Some assisted living communities, including Park View Meadows, offer respite and daycare that can be utilized so you can have some time off.  
When stress becomes overbearing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some ways to do this are by talking to a friend, your doctor or even someone at your church to find ways to control your stress in a positive manner. Just remember that even though you may be facing changes, sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that help relieve stress and change your life for the better.

Marie E. Littrell is the Administrator of Park View Meadows, assisted living by Americare, in Murfreesboro. She can be reached at 615.907.5800 or murf@americareusa.net.

Tagged under  care, health, marie littrell, meadows, park view, seniors, spotlight, stress, wellness

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