It doesn’t matter how old you are, no one is immune from stress. From our earliest age to when we’ve accumulated decades of experience walking this path that we all call life, stress can still hit us at any time.
When we’re growing and gathering experience of the world as children, stress can result from a wealth of situations. From the first day at a new school to being separated from parents for a prolonged period, stressful situations can manifest themselves, disrupting the harmony of our lives.
The older we become, the more responsibilities we tend to pile on our shoulders. From working and paying mortgages to raising children of our own, keeping them healthy and happy, even maintaining our own homes, sometimes acute stress can have even the most even-tempered and mellow adult pulling their hair out.
As learned nursing homes in Manchester, like Flixton Manor, understand, those in advanced age can suffer from bouts of stress. This can be confusing, traumatic, debilitating and most upsetting to care homes residents – often leaving them feeling overwhelmed.
There is a wealth of contributory factors that cause stress in elderly people. From the strain of living alone (especially for those who have spent much of their life living with family members and partners) to the inability to complete tasks that were once all too easy, stress can rear its ugly head in a variety of circumstances. Those dedicated to providing elderly care should be aware of the warning signs of stress.
Here are the subtle signs of stress to watch out for in those of advanced age. Why are these important to understand? When you know the physiological and psychological effects of stress, you realise how important it is to treat symptoms as soon as they manifest.
Sudden Change in Behaviour
Perhaps the most obvious indicator that a person is stressed – or in distress – is a sudden change in behaviour. They may become irritable or morose. They may flat out refuse any help and retreat away from human company – sometimes when they need it the most.
Should residents of any care homes in Manchester, not just Flixton Manor, begin to exhibit any of these behaviours, carers should keep an eye on them. The longer that they aren’t themselves, the more likely it may be that they may need extra help. It’s always wise to keep an eye on residents who experience sudden changes in behaviour.
Inability to Switch Off
One of the most effective ways of managing stress, not just in elderly care but, regardless of a person’s age is switching off, relaxing and unwinding. If care home residents, elderly people – or anyone for that matter – cannot switch off then this can be a clear indicator that he or she is struggling with stress.
Difficulty in switching off can manifest itself in different ways. From being overly irritable and not being able to focus on activities, such as reading a book or calm social interaction to withdrawing from friends and relatives, the inability to switch off can have different effect on different seniors. If you’ve noticed any of these behaviours in close seniors in your life, they may well be suffering with stress.
Difficulty Sleeping and Changes in Diet
Most of us have a poor nights’ sleep every now and then. Some more than others. But, irrespective of age, if someone isn’t getting enough sleep, this is a key indicator that they may be suffering with stress. Fortunately, for anyone living in care homes in Manchester, poor sleeping patterns are evident – and can be treated. Remember, poor sleep, if only for a week or two, can have a poor impact on a person’s overall health.
It’s also wise to keep an eye out for changes in diet. Under eating is a clear sign that someone feels under pressure or is unhappy. Over eating is a clear sign that someone is sad and self-medicating with food. Good elderly care is about making sure that a person is as healthy as they can be. Not eating, not eating enough, or over eating is a not healthy.
Low Self-Esteem or Depression
Stress can easily and quickly develop into other mental health problems. The most common of these are anxiety and depression. Clear indicators of either of these two disorders is a clear indication that someone is not quite okay – and something that all care homes in Manchester should take very seriously.
If someone in your care has persistently exhibited negative behaviour, is critical of themselves or others or refuses assistance, where once they welcomed help and were known for having an upbeat demeanour, this could mean that their self-esteem is suffering or that they are suffering with depression.
Extra support may be required to treat depression or low self-esteem. However, good elderly care that promotes cheerfulness, positivity, and – where necessary – a friendly ear can be just what the doctor ordered. It’s best to keep an eye on any senior who are exhibiting symptoms.
So, there you go. These are the clear signs of stress that you should be looking out for in seniors. Remember, the earlier that you notice symptoms, the quicker that they can be treated, helping seniors to feel happier, calmer, and more confident!
Learn more about why Flixton Manor is one of the most-accomplished care homes in Manchester today by calling 0161 746 7175. One of our friendly staff would be happy to help you.