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Effects of Stress on Older Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease

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Alzheimer’s disease is a very complicated form of dementia that results in memory loss, impaired judgement, diminished cognitive function, and a variety of other symptoms. Caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s often find their job is a lot easier when they can keep the senior relaxed and happy during the day. Stress tends to exacerbate Alzheimer’s symptoms, making seniors and those around them far unhappier. Being stressed out may have the following effects on Alzheimer’s-related behaviors. 

Heightens Blood Pressure 

When a person is stressed, the body automatically starts to go into a fight or flight mode as levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, increase. This increase in cortisol causes a rise in blood pressure, which worsens the symptoms of Alzheimer’s by putting stress on the circulatory system in the brain. There is some concern that chronically elevated blood pressure levels may speed up the progression of Alzheimer’s and cause a wide range of worsening symptoms. 

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. New Hampshire 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.

Makes Confusion Worse 

The memory loss and cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease makes it difficult for seniors to remember where they are and how to manage daily tasks, which results in mental confusion that can upset them. Most seniors experience less confusion when they are happy, comfortable, and in a familiar environment. Tasks like following a recipe, completing a puzzle, or going to the bathroom may be too difficult and confusing when a senior is feeling stressed out by mental or physical factors. 

Living with Alzheimer’s can make it difficult for older adults to age in place safely. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading New Hampshire home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Results in Impaired Self-Control 

Alzheimer’s tends to cause seniors to lose self-control and experience impaired judgement. The human brain has difficulty making decisions when it is stressed, and having Alzheimer’s just worsens the issue. If a senior with Alzheimer’s is stressed, he or she is far more likely to lose control and yell, curse, cry, or throw things when upset. Any sort of stressful distraction, such as being hungry or interacting with someone he or she dislikes, can cause a senior to lose control. 

Causes Memory Issues to Worsen 

Seniors with Alzheimer’s tend to have a one-track mind that cannot manage more than one thing at once. In many cases, the object of stress will become the priority for a senior with Alzheimer’s, which means the senior will not be likely to remember past events and people when he or she is mostly focused on thinking about stress. To help a senior with Alzheimer’s remember difficult things, it’s best to select a time when he or she is calm and help him or her interact with music, photos, or other objects that trigger the memory.

Caring for an aging loved one with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in New Hampshire, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (603) 471-3004.

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