Why Older Adults Are Stressed and What To do About it

Senior woman sitting at table at home looking helpless at mounting bills

Stress. It’s normal to experience it throughout every stage of life. However, as we get older, there are more factors that come into play and contribute to stress. 

At Rolling Green Village, we’re here to help you understand the different causes of stress you may not have already been aware of, because it’s always beneficial to get ahead of the problem. The other good news is: There are a lot of techniques and lifestyle choices that can alleviate all of the stresses in your life.

Learn more below and begin your proactive mission to fight stress today.

What’s the cause of stress in older adults?

You may be searching for one all-encompassing answer, but the truth is there are many reasons why older adults experience temporary or chronic stress. Here are four of the most common reasons for increased stress levels:

1. Health concerns.

The chance of developing health issues increases as you age. It’s natural but never easy to accept. Seniors often worry about changes in both cognitive function and physical health. Is your memory worsening? Do you feel more aches and pains than usual? Are you at higher risk of developing certain conditions due to family history? All of these are valid concerns.

2. Loss of independence.

Imagine what it would feel like to no longer be able to drive or go about your daily routine. A very relevant cause of stress for seniors is the shame, frustration, and guilt that come with not being able to take care of themselves. Many seniors don’t want to burden family members, friends, or even professional caregivers with the need for assistance. With this lack of control comes quite a bit of stress.

3. Finances.

Seniors entering retirement age want to make sure their finances are secure, and rightfully so. Housing costs like utilities, maintenance, property taxes, and even groceries are on the rise, and without a steady income, covering these costs is difficult. Seniors may receive a fixed monthly pension and social security payments, but are they enough to feel comfortable?

4. Loneliness

Many seniors are empty nesters, have lost a spouse, and may not even live near family and friends. Feeling isolated takes a toll on mental health and physical health, especially when no one else is around to help manage the home or keep you company.

How does stress manifest itself as you age?

How will you know when stress is beginning to take control of your everyday life? Look for these telltale effects of stress commonly found in older adults:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of appetite
  • Irritability and extreme mood swings
  • Loss of concentration
  • Getting sick more often

4 solutions for seniors who are stressed

According to Harvard Medical School, the best way to relieve stress is to tailor the treatment. Not everyone experiences stress the same way, so if commonly recommended stress management techniques aren’t working for you, consult with your physician to find the right fix for you.

Before you seek additional treatment for stress relief, try these four common solutions:

  1. Get active.

Engaging in regular physical activity, even if it’s just for 30 minutes per day, can lower your blood pressure and boost your mood. 

  1. Focus on your breath.

Deep breathing and meditation are great methods for relaxing the body and the mind. You can also combine your exercise and mindfulness efforts with practices like yoga or tai chi.

  1. Eat healthier.

When you consciously make healthier eating choices, your body and mind will respond in a positive way. Your immune system and self-esteem will improve, and your chances of developing heart disease and other chronic conditions will lessen.

  1. Find a supportive community.

Moving to a retirement community can reduce stress in that you won’t feel alone, you’ll have different activities to choose from, and you’ll have access to care all in one place. 

Feel right at home with stress-free senior living.

Retire without worry at Rolling Green Village in Greenville, South Carolina. Our Life Plan Community provides residents with convenient services and amenities, wellness programs, and a full continuum of health services to live well and find happiness each day. Learn more about why residents love living here.