-Provide reassurance and support
-Encourage exercise, support group
-Maintain a normal routine and avoid unnecessary changes
-Older adults may be triggered by a previous traumatic event, especially after feeling helpless because of a new disability
-Recognize and acknowledge that older loved one’s fears and worries are normal AND real; ACCEPT, don’t minimize

*SLOW down, SLOW the pace, PAUSE, take a DEEP breath until heart rate decelerates, work towards maintaining and returning to baseline (helps with brain training, recovery & restoration, and mitigation of effects of declining heart health, which promotes and amplifies stress and dysregulation (impulse control…certain functions outpace others))

Always go back to basics…air, hydration, food (nutrition), rest, some exercise (light & easy), environment
Reduce stress
Short tasks, small steps, shorter durations of time with more pauses and reflection (time to think)
*Avoid long tasks, long conversations, longer series of steps

Breathe. Focus on your breath and let other thoughts fade away. Don’t judge yourself for having them, but don’t pursue them; try to let them go.

Practice self-compassion and encourage self-compassion

Give yourself credit for trying and encourage that

Practice positive self-talk (even for a minute or two) until you reach a point where you notice it’s starting to help you and you feel less stressed

Keep at it. It isn’t like riding a bike. You must do it regularly for it to help you.

Practice mindfulness. It helps you not only recognize your emotions and stay attuned to it, but with also what’s going on with your body without judging any of it as good or bad.

Notice if your body is tense or if your mind keeps trying to go back to a particular unpleasant topic, but don’t get down on yourself — just recognize what’s going on as a way of gathering information about yourself.

Friends are important. Choose friends carefully, who can be rea friends of support.

Consider joining a meditation group.

Light and easy exercise that doesn’t stress you is helpful. Maybe it is light yoga, using the back of a chair as support, lifting the leg and flexing the foot while practicing balance and shifting posture. (chair yoga)
Small walks
Swimming and water aerobics
Music and dancing, light movement with music
Bodyweight exercises

Avoid sugar and salt, but hydrate well
Proper nutrition is critical for your mental and physical health. Your food fuels your brain, so getting the right balance of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates will help you
Remember moderation and balance your diet with variety in place of overindulging on one thing

Pros & Cons of:
Being goal oriented, mission oriented, focused on accomplishing the task and completing it (also amplifies tendency for “tunnel vision” and forgetting to breath, pause, which is important to de-stressing, managing stress as we go…)
*What is great about being focused and goal oriented can also be an Achilles heel as we age…which is why “moderation” and “good habit” and continuing to encourage and develop the skill of checking in with one’s self and reflecting as we go is useful and helpful, something we must all WORK at as we age and cope with health issues and what continues with life

Technology is inherently stressful, since it always comes with demanding time and many series of steps with troubleshooting and doesn’t work reliably…coupled with the fact that our society and lives are more dependent than ever on it, a stress for older adults and those with health problems to interface with the services and continue to engage in community and their needs utilizing it as they need to

Common sources of stress for our older loved ones:
-Stress from being dependent on others
-Cost of living expenses or medical expenses
-Social isolation and loneliness
-Fear of falling or other medical emergencies

Personal autonomy and maintaining that, with independence, is important to each older person

Social interaction is important to our older loved ones.
Worry can compete with positive interactions. Remember that we are seeking positive relations from each other, so remember to “stop and smell the roses” and let the worry fall to th wayside. Let that positivity grow. Worry is like a weed that eats at our garden. Cultivate and nurture. Worry comes with stress and feeds the same. Give worry its due, but let the flowers bloom, too.
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