Facebook Pixel The Impact of Stress on Seniors with Alzheimer’s

How Does Stress Impact Aging Adults with Alzheimer’s?

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Alzheimer’s disease can have negative effects on a senior’s physical and mental wellbeing, making it difficult to manage daily activities. Stress is a serious issue that makes Alzheimer’s disease and its symptoms worsen, which is why caregivers need to help their aging loved ones manage stress accordingly. Here are some of the ways stress can intensify Alzheimer’s-related behaviors. 

Progression of the Disease 

Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease does not prevent seniors from living as normal of a life as possible. In fact, there are lifestyle changes your loved one can make to slow the progression of the disease, such as managing stress properly. If your loved one fails to control his or her stress levels, many of the symptoms associated with the disease could worsen, like memory loss. Being stressed causes acute and chronic changes within certain areas of the brain, impairing the ability of the hippocampus to recall and encode memories. Keep your loved one happy and stress-free to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and enhance his or her overall wellbeing. 

If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Milwaukee home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Repetitive Behaviors 

When a senior with Alzheimer’s becomes bored, it’s common for stress levels to increase. Your loved one might forget things that just happened, causing him or her to repeat words, phrases, and actions over and over. Although the repetition could be due to memory loss, it may also be caused by stress and anxiety due to boredom. Providing your loved one with a more structured environment may reduce stress and alleviate boredom, lowering the risk of repetitive behaviors. 

Disrupted Sleep Patterns 

It’s common for seniors with Alzheimer’s to experience restless nights, and stress can make the situation worse. When your loved one is stressed out, his or her internal body clock might experience a biological mix-up between day and night. Your loved one may stay up late at night and sleep during the day, which is bad for his or her physical and mental health. A disrupted sleeping schedule can also be difficult for family caregivers, especially those who work full-time jobs. Develop a sleeping routine for your loved one. With a normal bedtime schedule, you can help your loved one remain calm and limit the amount of confusion he or she experiences at night. 

Many older adults have difficulty maintaining good sleep hygiene. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Milwaukee home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

Loss of Fine Motor Skills 

Stress typically has a shrinking effect on the prefrontal cortex, damaging the brain and making it difficult to complete familiar tasks like walking around the home, writing notes, tying shoes, getting dressed, and completing physical activities. This happens because stress damages certain parts of the brain that send signals to the muscles, causing motor skills to be lost. Meditation and deep breathing exercises are some of the ways for seniors with Alzheimer’s to lower their stress, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels to increase their fine motor skills.

Caring for an aging loved one with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Milwaukee, WI, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at Milwaukee (414) 964-8000 or Waukesha (262) 782-3383.