Seniors are often overlooked as a group that faces stressors in their lives, especially with life transitions for them. The “golden years” can be incredibly stressful for them. Changes in their health, loved ones dying, loss of retirement savings, healthcare, all cause immense stress in the elderly. Living and working in Florida, I see a certain population of seniors that deal with the stress in specific ways. There is a reason why seniors retire to Florida and live in specific adult communities.
#1 Senior Social Networking:
Social support networking of family, friends, church or other social outings decrease stress. The retirement communities offer amenities for seniors to interact with others. This interaction provides someone to talk to who are experiencing the same stressors such as losing a spouse and worries about finances. Opening up about emotions relieves stress, especially when you are an active senior and keeping busy. Seniors have also logged on to those internet sites all the younger people are on, yes, even the dating sites.
#2 Relax and Enjoy Florida:
Seniors retire here to enjoy the warm weather and what it has to offer. There is a variety of relaxing activities for senior living to help reduce stress for seniors. Communities offer yoga, tai chi and meditation classes. Relaxing by the pool or taking a walk on the beach everyday decreases stress. Seniors also can be found on the golf courses, tennis courts or shuffle board courts. Exercising daily in an enjoyable way that keeps you active and decreases your stress of daily life. If they can no longer drive, golf cart communities offer a new world to seniors.
I think Florida has more churches on each block than I have ever seen. Prayer and worship reduces stress in their lives. Not only do seniors have another type of social networking, but maintain a less stressful life by using prayer as an alternative treatment to maintain good health in general.
#4 Volunteering and Working
If you shop in any grocery store in Florida, a senior citizen is probably bagging your groceries. People who work after retirement stay busy and have a better mental and physical health than most other seniors. I also see the elderly volunteering either at my hospital, the Red Cross, and other agencies. These are meaningful opportunities for seniors to share their skills, knowledge and experience while decreasing their own stress.
We all know animal companionship is a source of comfort and relief from suffering. In any golf cart community or in one of the numerous dog parks in Florida, you will always see seniors with their pet’s right there with them. Pet therapy is included in many hospital and community programs. Pets offer emotional well being, stress reduction, decreased loneliness and a better quality of life for seniors.
Medicine Net: http://www.medicinenet.com/stress_management_techniques/article.htm
Emax health: http://www.emaxhealth.com/1506/8/34142/working-after-retirement-keeps-seniors-healthy.html