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How Does Stress Influence the Development of Alzheimer’s?

Stress can take a considerable toll on a person’s health. This is especially true for aging adults because they are at higher risk of developing cortisol-related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s. Even though stress does not always directly result in Alzheimer’s, it often has a significant impact that can be prevented.

Healthy, balanced living may be key for staving off Alzheimer’s. A nutritious and heart-healthy diet, routine exercise, and regular stress relief can all moderate the production of the stress hormone cortisol. It has been known for several decades that people with Alzheimer’s have elevated levels of this powerful chemical in their bloodstream. Rather than being an effect of Alzheimer’s, researchers have discovered elevated cortisol is likely a precursor to this degenerative illness. Thus, efforts to alleviate anxiety and maintain a balanced mood can go a long way toward preserving cognition and overall mental health throughout the golden years.

Studies have shown people with elevated levels of cortisol are two to three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those with balanced cortisol production. This fight-or-flight response is a natural self-protection mechanism that has remained with humans throughout the ages. At every stage of life, learning how to avoid adrenaline and cortisol surges is critical for maintaining optimal immune functioning and good cognitive health.

Letting go of stressful thoughts is often a lot easier said than done. This is especially true for seniors, who are often fraught with concerns involving their finances, waning physical abilities, and the prospect of losing their independence. Family members and Las Vegas caregivers can help alleviate senior stress by:

  • Offering to support goals for aging in place
  • Helping seniors identify their resources
  • Encouraging active social lives so isolation is prevented
  • Maintaining open, ongoing discussions concerning Las Vegas elder care needs

In addition to maintaining active lifestyles, seniors also need regular, feasible options for stress relief. Signing up for classes like water aerobics, tai chi, or yoga are all great ways to center the mind, achieve a state of mindfulness, and let go of sources of anxiety that can lead to Alzheimer’s development. Aging adults can access these activities at local senior centers, which provides an important social component for promoting emotional wellbeing.

Though stress can lead to Alzheimer’s, it can also result in various other health conditions. If your loved one needs help managing stress or Alzheimer’s symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can provide emotional support and mental stimulation while helping with a wide array of daily tasks. In addition to Alzheimer’s home care Las Vegas families trust, we also offer specialized dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. For more information on our elderly care services, please call one of our experienced Care Managers at 702-550-3185 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.