The body undergoes many changes during aging, and stress can significantly affect these changes. Stress that continues for a long time, whether mental or physical, can speed up the aging process. With the help of their loved ones and the in-home care team, seniors can effectively reduce their stress and improve their health and well-being.
Continue reading to learn more about why reducing stress in seniors is essential.
Understanding the Impact of Stress
There are several ways that stress impacts the body, which is why it’s essential to find the root cause of the stress and work toward minimizing it. The issues listed below are only a few of the things that might be impacted due to stress.
Immune system: Stress makes stress hormones like cortisol come out, weakening the immune system. Immunosenescence is the process by which the immune system gets weaker with age. When this weakening is paired with long-term stress, it worsens, making the body more vulnerable to infections, and illnesses and slower wound healing.
Cardiovascular system: Stress can damage the heart and blood vessels, and these effects worsen as seniors age. Additionally, chronic worry raises blood pressure, speeds up the heart rate, and inflates the blood vessels. Over time, these things can lead to illnesses like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Cognitive function: As seniors age, the risk of cognitive issues rises. In addition, studies have shown that stress hormones can damage brain cells, especially in the hippocampus. This means that stress can also make it hard to think quickly, pay attention, and make decisions, furthering issues with cognitive functioning.
Digestive system: Stress can stop the digestive system from working as it should, which can cause several problems. It can make seniors overeat or lose their appetite. This is significant as maintaining their weight is critical to ensuring seniors’ health. The in-home care team can help with this by introducing foods that benefit seniors’ digestion while also working to help reduce their stress.
Musculoskeletal system: Stress can make muscles tighter and stiffer, which can be especially bad for seniors with musculoskeletal problems from aging. Chronic stress can also worsen conditions like tension headaches, migraines, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disease or bring them on.
Decreased sleep: Stress can make it hard to sleep. This is significant since many seniors already struggle with sleeping. This can tire seniors, decrease their ability to focus and weaken their defense system. Not getting enough sleep can cause seniors to start their day with a deficit which can be hard to recover from. With in-home care, seniors can learn better sleep habits and work toward creating an effective sleep routine.
It’s important to recognize how stress affects the body, especially during aging. Thankfully, seniors can reduce their stress and live better lives with a strong support system, including in-home care, friends, and family. If the home care team and loved ones notice significant stress in the seniors they care for, it might be important to reach out to additional resources to help.
If you or an aging loved one is considering In-Home Care Services in Montclair NJ please get in touch with the caring staff at Expert Home Care today at (732) 937-5320.
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