Supporting your loved one this International Stress Awareness Week

The first week of November every year marks International Stress Awareness Week, an awareness event aimed at drawing attention to stress and mental health problems, as well as promoting support services that people can benefit from.

Stress and mental health problems have never been more important than now, and the challenges they present never more acute than in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.


New research conducted by The Office for National Statistics and The Health Foundation has found that more than two-thirds of adults in the UK (69%) report feeling ‘very worried’ about the effect COVID-19 is having on their life. The most common issues affecting wellbeing are worry about the future (63%), feeling stressed or anxious (56%), and feeling bored (49%).

 

Although some degree of worry and stress is understandable considering these circumstances, it is vital that we support our elderly loved ones who may be suffering.

 

Here are some tips for supporting your loved one:

 

Exercising

According to new Government research, 20 minutes a week of any physical activity, such as cleaning or gardening, can have a positive impact on psychological distress.

Encouraging your loved one to take walks in nature can help to relieve anxiety, as well as maintain fitness and muscle tone. The Covid-19 pandemic has made this a little more challenging, but even a few laps in the garden is greatly beneficial. Equally, encouraging them how to do chair exercises will be improve mood and posture.

 

Relaxation Techniques

Stress management is focusing on triggering the opposite of the stress response: the relaxation response. This aids in lowering blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, stress hormones and oxygen consumption.
Teaching your elderly loved one to take part in calming activities such as seated yoga, meditation, or daily journaling can enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Daily routines carried out together can be both enjoyable and beneficial.

 

Staying Social

Elderly people experiencing stress often isolate themselves from others, refusing to socialise or participate in activities they perhaps used to enjoy. Here at Churchfields, we encourage our residents to enjoy arts and crafts, or do puzzles, drawing together, amongst a host of other activities to encourage socialising and group participation.

We have also recently completed building work on our new ‘Family Visiting Hub’, which will allow our residents and families to safely stay connected over the coming months. This is vital in reducing feelings of stress and anxiety for everyone.

 

Regular check ins

A key part in easing some of the stress your loved one may be feeling is providing support during these difficult times. Sharing their thoughts and feelings can help them feel less stressed and more at ease. Check in with your loved one by giving them a ring every few days, or perhaps drop by for some socially distanced tea and cake, or even a gin and tonic!

Enjoying a good belly laugh can also help to reduce stress during these tough times.  A good sense of humour can go a long way in reducing stress levels for us all. As they say, laughter is the best medicine!

 

Providing  help

Sometimes, stress can develop into something more serious, and ensuring your loved one can easily access professional help and support is very important. There is lots of support available for elderly individuals looking for advice, and many are available via telephone. Age UK offers a range of services, including mental health and general advice for the elderly.

Alternatively, the time may have come to explore other options that offer additional care and support, such as moving into a care home. Over the last few months, Churchfields has become home to several elderly people from our local community, many of whom became isolated and lonely during lockdown. We have been delighted to welcome them into our Churchfields family.

 

 

Our philosophy at Churchfields has always centred around our residents’ health, happiness, and creating a sense of belonging and self-esteem. We have an extensive team of friendly, committed staff, who spend time with every resident each day, to discuss how they are feeling, and monitor their emotional wellness. We also host a range of daily activities to keep them engaged, allowing residents to explore their creative side while connecting with others socially, and forming close friendships.

 

If you’re interested in hearing more about Churchfields Care Home, our team would be happy to talk to you. Contact us on 01865 881440 or fill out our contact form and a member of the team will be in touch. You can also follow us daily on our Facebook Page.

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