A University of Wisconsin study found certain stressful life experiences may age the brain by nearly two years. This supplements additional research suggesting stress may affect the brain in a way that increases the risk of cognitive decline or developing related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers.net has identified some of the specific stressors that could increase Alzheimer’s risk. Seven of them are discussed below.
1. Financial Concerns
Financial worries can contribute to stress that gradually becomes more impactful over time. While every senior’s financial situation is different, some aging adults may be able to decrease financial stress by working with financial advisors, establishing budgets, and looking at supplemental insurance options if prescription drug costs are a concern.
2. Spousal Issues
According to USA Today, divorce rates among couples 65 and older have tripled over the past 30 years. Seniors are no different than anyone else when it comes to experiencing stress when they’re in relationships that are no longer healthy and enjoyable. Some seniors facing this type of stress benefit from marital counseling to work out lingering issues. If divorce is the better option, support from family members and friends can help with this adjustment.
3. Grief & Loss
Some seniors have a great deal of difficulty managing grief and loss. If a spouse passes away, the surviving partner may become depressed or isolated, especially if he or she previously depended on his or her spouse for support, socialization, and emotional stability. Added support from loved ones and friends or counseling may be helpful for seniors in situations like this.
In Rockwall, elderly 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.
4. Family Dynamics
Years of attempting to keep the peace if family issues demand constant attention can take a toll emotionally on an aging brain in a way that may contribute to Alzheimer’s. In some cases, family counseling helps. At other times, however, it may be necessary for seniors to establish boundaries and learn to let go of situations they can’t control.
5. Lack of Socialization
Over time, children grow up and move away, and friends move to warmer climates or nursing homes or pass away. Changes of this nature can result in fewer opportunities to socialize. Seniors with health issues or mobility limitations may also become socially isolated. Efforts by family members to make appropriate adjustments to social routines may help with this potential stressor.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. You 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.
6. Undiagnosed Mental Health Disorders
Because of lingering taboos, some seniors hide or dismiss signs suggesting they may have depression or other mental health issues. If this goes on for many years, the untreated mental health conditions could compound changes within the brain that naturally occur with age and boost the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Mental health problems in seniors are often treatable with a combination of medication, therapy, and active support from family members.
7. Aging in Place Concerns
Adults who are getting older can become increasingly anxious about being able to stay in the homes they’ve invested so much time and effort in maintaining. Stress of this nature may be minimized with advanced planning that could include making home modifications or looking at local in-home care options.
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. Rockwall, TX, 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. If you need professional home care for your aging loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (972) 722-7833.