Facebook Pixel

What Effects Can Stress Have on the Elderly?

By , 9:00 am on

Seniors may encounter difficult situations and decisions, causing high levels of stress and anxiety. Failing to manage stress levels could lead to poor quality of life and various health issues. Learn how stress affects seniors and what you can do as a caregiver to manage each effect.

Increases the Risk of Heart Disease

Too much stress can lead to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease. When your elderly loved one manages stress properly, he or she can lower the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. Stress can cause seniors to turn to bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol. Using these methods to manage stress can increase blood pressure and cause significant damage to the artery walls. Your loved one can reduce stress by finding positive ways to address cognitive decline, staying active, and meditating. 

Stress is one of many components that can contribute to decreased mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Edmonton families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Disrupts Sleep

Too much stress can cause crankiness and disrupt sleep quality. Sleep is essential for seniors because the brain is cleared of dangerous toxins during sleep, which boosts the immune system and brain health. If your loved one is unable to get enough sleep, he or she may be more susceptible to diseases and infections. Lack of sleep can also make it difficult to concentrate and make rational decisions. Your loved one can manage stress and enhance his or her sleeping patterns by exercising, eating healthy, and doing purposeful activities that boost mental health. 

Seniors who don’t manage their stress levels well could develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves on their own. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Edmonton live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.

Leads to Bad Eating Habits

Increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol can impact your parent’s weight. His or her body could begin to crave calorie-dense and fatty foods instead of nutritious choices like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and lean meats. Stress is also associated with increased hunger hormones that make seniors feel like they’re hungry when they aren’t. Seniors can prevent these stress-related food cravings by staying socially and physically active. Your loved one should get involved within the community, volunteer with a local nonprofit organization, or consider taking up a new hobby with other seniors.

Negatively Impacts the Memory

Uncontrolled stress can make seniors feel confused, helpless, and forgetful. Too much stress overloads the mind and drains the brain. Although acute stress doesn’t cause permanent memory issues for older adults, chronic stress can have a long-term effect and increase the odds of dementia. Find ways for your loved one to manage stress and boost his or her brain health. Encourage taking up hobbies like reading, writing, listening to music, or learning something new. Your loved one can also plant a garden, adopt a pet, or spend more time with family and friends to reduce stress.

Stress can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Edmonton, in-home care 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. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (780) 977-7379 to learn more about our customized care plans.