Connections between Stress and Alzheimer’s Disease

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Though experiencing stress from time to time is normal, it’s important for seniors to manage these feelings so their health isn’t impacted. When your senior loved one becomes stressed, it can increase his or her odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Here are a few of the possible connections between the two conditions. 

Cortisol

Stress causes the levels of cortisol released into the body to increase. Once cortisol enters the brain, this hormone begins to kill off brain cells, which can cause Alzheimer’s to develop. Seniors with high levels of cortisol are three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those without stress and increased cortisol in the body. 

Stress can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but seniors don’t have to handle them alone. In Potomac, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Memory Loss 

Anxiety makes it difficult for seniors to concentrate, and stress can lead to both short-term and long-term memory loss, causing Alzheimer’s to develop. When your loved one’s mind is distracted or overstimulated, his or her ability to remember things may begin to decrease. 

The most common type of stress that builds tension and negatively impacts the memory is emotional trauma, which isn’t always easy to avoid. It’s best to get your loved one immediate treatment to address the situation and reduce the risk of depression, stress, and anxiety. 

Anxiety Medications 

When these medications are taken for a long time, they can cause your loved one to become confused and dizzy and increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The benzodiazepines in anxiety medications can rob your loved one of his or her memory and lead to other medical concerns. However, short-term usage of these drugs may help your parent manage stress and anxiety without leading to the risk of confusion and disorientation. 

Living with Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Beta-Amyloid Proteins

Chronic stress can increase the amount of beta-amyloid proteins produced in the brain. When these proteins are isolated, they don’t cause serious problems. However, when they increase, they can have a negative effect on cognition and limit connections in the brain, which leads to Alzheimer’s disease. 

It’s a good idea to learn how to prevent stressful situations that lead to the increased production of beta-amyloid proteins. For example, your loved one can learn how to create a budget to maintain financial stability or speak with therapists or groups in the community that can help him or her handle the loss of a family member or close friend. 

If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s and needs help managing daily tasks, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Potomac Assisting Hands Home Care provides reliable caregivers around the clock to help your loved one age in place safely and comfortably while living with Alzheimer’s disease. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your parent, give us a call at (301) 363-2580 today.