How Stress Can Affect Seniors Living with Alzheimer’s Disease

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How Does Stress Impact Aging Adults with Alzheimer in Des Moines, IA

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 can worsen Alzheimer’s disease and its symptoms, which is why family caregivers need to help their aging loved ones manage stress accordingly. Here are several ways stress can intensify Alzheimer’s-related behaviors.

Progression of the Disease

Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t 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.  A professional caregiver can spend time with your loved one to help him or her de-stress and manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care. Des Moines Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-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.  Getting plenty of sleep each night can boost overall quality of life. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust elderly care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

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. Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to manage. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Des Moines, IA, Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Call one of our qualified Care Managers today at (515) 264-2438 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.


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