APPROXIMATELY 10 per cent of Australia’s aging population will experience some form of senior stress.
Senior stress can be triggered by many factors including loss of spouse, declining social networks as a result of illness or death, the move into a care facility, reduced mobility and increased dependence on aids and changes in medication.
It is easy to see that as we get older, stresses in life do not deteriorate, they just change.
Northside – a not-for-profit organisation that provides activities for older people to increase social networks – has several top tips to help seniors thrive during this time.
Keep active. Not all exercise needs to be strenuous. Gentle movement such as Tai Chi or Yoga keeps you physically limber and reduces the risk of injury.
Make new friends. You are never too old to make new friends. Your local community will have a range of services supported by Government for older people to get involved in social activities such as day trips, movies or lunch.
Get a pet. Our lives are less stressful when we have a reason to get out of bed. There is no greater purpose than getting out of bed to buy a rescue dog or cat. Stroking a pet is also proven to reduce feelings of anxiety.
Turn off the news and read. Books ignite our internal imagination and often take us into other worlds, introduce us to new characters and distract us from our own negative thoughts. If you can’t afford to buys lots of books then drop into your local library or visit BookHub, which provides a weekly list of free books to download.
Change your routine. For one day each week, break your regular activity and challenge yourself to do something that you wouldn’t normally include in your day-to-day routine.
Better out than in. When we think the same thoughts over and over again, they start to become bigger and worse. By writing down your worries, you may be able to gain a different perspective.
For more information about Northside, visit https://yournorthside.org.au.