As you reach old age, you may suffer from financial stress due to loss of income, depleting savings, health problems, and other issues. The stress you feel over money should never be brushed off or ignored. Stress can have negative consequences on your health, especially over prolonged periods.
Impact of Financial Stress on Seniors
Financial stress on seniors can cause them to smoke or drink more. A study from State University of New York at Albany found that male seniors were 30% more likely to drink more. Female seniors were 20% less likely to increase their drinking habits under financial stress.
Elderly men are often impacted more negatively by money problems due to gender roles in their youth. They were raised to believe that men are responsible for taking care of their family's financial needs. Even if the male is divorced or widowed, he still has the mindset of the fact it's imperative for males to generate income and be self-sufficient.
While under stress, seniors may experience the following physical symptoms:
• Decreased energy
• Chest pain
• Decreased energy
• Chest pain and rapid heart beats
• Decreased desire
• Upset stomachs
• Susceptibility to colds and infections
• Teeth grinding (bruxism)
• Nervous habits
Prolonged stress is very bad for the body. It increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Stress over long periods of time also weakens the immune system.
How to Manage Financial Stress as a Senior
Social support is one of the most effective ways for seniors to minimize the stress caused by financial issues. Elders who don't have access to social support are more likely to start drinking or smoking. If you don't have a few people to lean on during times of stress, then it's important to meet people and build a social network. You might think it's hopeless at your age, but that's simply not true. You can still find people to connect with.
Another way to deal with stress is to eat a healthy diet. Your body and brain need to receive all the necessary vitamins and nutrients each day to operate at their best. A poor diet doesn't just negatively affect your body; it hurts your brain too. Moreover, if you fall ill or develop health problems from a poor diet, it will only add onto your stress.
Additional ways of coping with financial stress as a senior include:
• Exercise (there are ways for seniors to safely exercise)
• Receive a massage
• Watch a comedy
• Take a walk
Financial stress can be detrimental for people of all ages, especially seniors. When you're older, your body may not repair itself as easily as it once did. And if you resort to bad, unhealthy habits like drinking, smoking, or eating too much junk food, then it will only exasperate your problems. Turn to healthy ways of coping with your stress, such as moral support, watching a comedy, and meditating.
- Jenny Holt