Stress is a normal part of life and senior residents from assisted living facilities are no exception. Sometimes, stress can be a motivating factor to get the job done. It allows you to stay focused, and alert, and can even help humans in challenging situations.
However, stress can also negatively affect one’s mental and emotional health if not dealt with properly. Stress can also cause depression, anxiety, sleep disorder, heart problems, relationship issues, and more.
Thus, it is important to identify stress and its causes to begin finding ways to combat them. Even the small ways can go a long way in living a positive life.
Stress Awareness Month
Stress Awareness Month has been celebrated every April since 1992 worldwide to spread awareness of the causes and curative ways of the stress pandemic.
When stress gets out of control can lead to serious illnesses. People have different levels of stress tolerance, but regardless, stressors can be approachable.
For the last 2 years, in particular, this month is highly important for navigating the pandemic. People across the globe including the residents in assisted living facilities struggled to cope with the health scare, limited to no physical contact with families and the outside world, trauma, and uncertainties.
Because of these, this month provides healthy and helpful ways to cope or at least reduce stress. Because recognizing stress is the first step toward feeling better and lowering its dangers.
Why Identifying Stress is Important
Many people do not realize that they are suffering from stress, and it is too late that stress has already consumed them. Sometimes the impacts of stress do not show directly. It could come in the form of stress eating, and feelings of isolation and anxiety. Having emotions like these at high levels can be risky for senior residents in assisted living facilities.
Although you can not entirely avoid stress, being able to spot the signs can save one’s health. Identifying the triggers also limits the amount of stress that one will be subject to. In addition, it will allow individuals to come up with ways to alleviate stress and improve their mood, and overall health.
Ways to Identify Stress in Assisted Living Facilities
Prolonged isolation and health risks are common factors that affect the mood and mental health of senior residents. And if left unaddressed, can alleviate conditions like hypertension, insomnia, or malnutrition.
Caregivers and staff must observe and better recognize stress among residents.
Daily caregivers look out for:
- signs of depression, loneliness, or isolation (loss of interest in socializing, attending activities and engagements)
- lack of energy and motivation
- loss of appetite or sudden weight loss (skipping meals)
- difficulty sleeping, oversleeping, or daytime sleepiness
- neglecting personal hygiene or forgetting medicine
Management and staff in assisted living facilities should have special programs and activities to help their residents with elderly depression.
Other than programs, emotional support is necessary once these signs are identified by family members. Plus, get an accurate diagnosis by accompanying loved ones to doctor’s appointments to receive appropriate treatment.
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