6 Emotional Effects of the Aging Process

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What are the Emotional Effects of the Aging Process in Tampa Bay, FL

While seniors are generally happier than people in other age groups, older adulthood isn’t always a time of emotional wellbeing and tranquility. Aging sometimes impacts emotions in ways that require some extra care and attention. Here are six specific ways getting older can affect emotions and some tips for handling these issues in a senior loved one.

1. Loneliness Related to Physical Limitations

Loss of mobility is common among older adults, and it’s associated with potentially profound social and psychological consequences. One of these is increased loneliness and isolation from not being able to be as physically active.

Address this issue by:

• Suggesting activity modifications
• Spending more quality time with your parent whenever possible
• Encouraging your loved one to explore online/virtual forms of engagement to stay connected

For families living in Clearwater, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

2. Grief Due to Loss

Statistically, it’s likely seniors will eventually have to face the loss of loved ones or friends at some point. While some older adults are capable of managing grief fairly well, others need some help to get through the feelings associated with loss.

Address this issue by:

• Offering support and reassurance
• Acknowledging the loss and being empathetic
• Talking to your loved one’s doctor about treatment options if grief leads to long-term depression

3. Increased Anxiety Related to Life/Health Circumstances

Older adults sometimes become overly stressed or anxious if they’re noticing signs of cognitive decline, needing more assistance with daily activities, or worrying about how to manage their finances. Chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes can also contribute to unhealthy levels of anxiety and stress.

Address this issue by:

• Scheduling a visit with your loved one’s doctor to rule out or confirm medical issues
• Starting a conversation to find out what specific concerns your parent has
• Recommending solutions for sources of anxiety that are manageable (e.g., suggesting in-home care to address assistance needs)

A senior’s anxiety can be mitigated with the help of a professional caregiver. Clearwater Home Care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

4. Emotional Issues Associated with Brain-Related Changes

Chemical and structural changes in aging brains can affect the ability to process new information or concentrate. When this happens, the ability to communicate and hold normal conversations may be affected enough to cause emotional distress.

Address this issue by:

• Giving your loved one time to process what you’re saying
• Sticking to one topic per conversation to make it easier to focus
• Using facial expressions and body language as communication cues

5. Emotional Changes Caused by Dementia

Emotions can be affected by changes that occur with some forms of dementia. This often happens due to misunderstanding based on what’s perceived or difficulty verbalizing needs, wants, and feelings. During the early stages of dementia, seniors may also become sad, frustrated, or depressed as they realize what’s happening.

Address this issue by:

• Getting a positive diagnosis to confirm dementia is a factor
• Working with your parent’s doctor to put together a care plan
• Being calm, reassuring, and supportive

6. Less Willingness to Dwell on the Negative

The ability to process and regulate emotions changes over time, especially when it comes to negative emotions. Seniors may not pay as much attention to negative situations. While this is generally a good thing, it can become a problem if they refuse to address serious matters that may need attention.

Address this issue by:

• Getting backup from other family members if there’s a need to discuss a serious matter and you’re not getting anywhere
• Breaking down more complex topics so your loved one can grasp them better
• Letting it go if you believe that’s what’s best for your loved one

Emotional issues can have a significant impact on seniors’ overall health and wellbeing, so they should be addressed with compassion and empathy. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality at-home care. Clearwater families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862. 

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