Coping with stress in later life

Coping with stress in later life

Author: Sara Stagg

April is stress awareness month and although you may be familiar with thinking about stress in the workplace, are you able to see when you may be experiencing stress due to factors in your personal life, or recognise when those close to you are feeling stressed?

One life event which is noted as being incredibly stressful is moving home and that includes when in later life you move into a nursing home.

Many people find that, although they can still do some small daily tasks on their own, they are no longer able to manage other things and it is not always possible to find others – whether friends, relatives or professionals – to help with the things you can no longer manage and enable you to continue living in your own home.

Here at The Dower House, we recognise how difficult this time can be and will always do what we can to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Each room is provided with some basic items of furniture and beyond this we actively encourage everyone coming to us permanently to bring items of their own, including furniture, pictures, photographs, books, and ornaments. By doing so this helps to create an environment individual to each resident and can help make everyone feel more at ease being surrounded by familiar and comfortable belongings.

For those coming for a short stay, it may also help to bring a couple of favourite photos or pictures to put up and remember to pack things like comfy slippers, nightwear and any items which help you relax.

It can also be helpful to talk through what is happening, providing as much information as possible that is appropriate for the person moving. We do this by providing a booklet in each bedroom which contains useful information for new residents and friends and family. We also ensure that, in the first few days of arriving at the home, staff including our Home Manager and Wellbeing Co-ordinator spend time with our new residents to reassure them and find out about them, what they enjoy doing and would like to continue doing to make the move as smooth a transition as possible.

If your friend or family member is moving to a nursing home, you may find that they become more easily irritated during the move, or withdraw a little from everyday conversation. They may also become anxious about the move and struggle to sleep. These are all signs of stress and can be eased by ensuring that you keep them involved as much as possible with what is happening, ask what items they would like to take with them, involve them in helping pack smaller items or talk to them about what it is like where they are moving to.

Most importantly during any stressful time is to remember that it is a completely normal reaction and it is vital to give yourself and your loved one time to relax to ensure it does not have a prolonged effect on your own or others mental health.

Take a look at for more information and advice.

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