A new study referenced by Alzheimers.net found stressful life experiences may age the brain and contribute to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. There’s additional research suggesting a possible link between stress and cognitive decline. While not all sources of stress can be entirely avoided, there are certain stressors that tend to be more likely to contribute to the type of brain-related changes associated with Alzheimer’s. Seven of these stressors are discussed below.
1. Marital Issues
Clinical Psychology News notes that marriages often undergo added stress when couples get older. Part of the reason for this may be because marriage-related goals and patterns established earlier in life change over time. Other times, lingering issues are brought to the surface once older couples have more time to spend with one another. Marriage counseling or therapy may ease this type of stress.
2. Deaths of Loved Ones or Friends
Some stress following the death of a loved one or friend is expected for anyone, including seniors. This type of stress can become a problem if it contributes to depression and a loss of mental focus and clarity. Grief counseling and similar therapies may minimize this type of stress.
3. Financial Concerns
The website reversemortgagealert.org reports roughly 30 percent of people 50 and older are stressed about financial issues. This applies to nearly 20 percent of adults 70 and over. Older adults may be able to reduce stress related to financial woes with debt counseling or input from financial advisors.
4. Physical Limitations
The type of stress that may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s sometimes develops because of concerns related to physical limitations. Such issues could also contribute to decreased socialization, loneliness, isolation, and frustration. Seniors may be able to manage worries like this with in-home care, customized physical therapy plans, activity modifications, transportation services, or the use of assistance devices.
If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care Roseville families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
5. Chronic Depression
According to the CDC, depression isn’t a normal part of aging, and it can contribute to significant stress and have a widespread impact on mental and physical health. Depression may also contribute to the type of stress that boosts Alzheimer’s risk if it goes untreated or gradually worsens. Treatment typically involves a combination of medication and therapy. Love and support from family members can also be beneficial.
Homecare 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.
6. Family Squabbles
Not all families enjoy peace and harmony at all times. However, ongoing family issues that often leave an older adult right in the middle of things can contribute to increased stress and anxiety. Family therapy sometimes helps with situations like this. Even just taking the time to clear the air and handle lingering family issues may be helpful.
7. Unresolved Trauma
Some seniors have a gradual and progressive increase in stress if they experienced traumas earlier in life whose effects were never addressed and resolved. In some cases, post-traumatic stress may set in and further contribute to the type of stress that can negatively affect an aging brain. Therapy and family support are often helpful for situations like this.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Roseville, CA, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Call Home Care Assistance at (916) 226-3737 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.