Potential Impacts of Stress on Aging Adults

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Stress can have lasting effects on seniors. Managing stress appropriately can increase longevity, boost mental and physical health, and increase independence. Take a look at some of the different ways stress can affect older adults and what family caregivers can do to help their loved ones address their stress levels. 


When your senior loved one is stressed, his or her blood pressure will rise and put his or her wellbeing in jeopardy. Aging adults with hypertension are at increased risk for strokes and heart attacks, and their odds of developing dementia and other progressive conditions are higher. 

Encourage your loved one to participate in fun activities that increase blood flow and lower bad cholesterol levels while enhancing his or her mood. For instance, suggest your loved one take up dancing, which can boost heart health, decrease anxiety, and lower the risk of depression. 

Stress is one of many components that can contribute to diminished mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.


Failing to manage stress properly can affect sleep quality and mental awareness. Poor sleeping habits could also prevent your loved one from making sound decisions. 

To boost your loved one’s sleep quality, help him or her control stress and anxiety. A manageable bedtime routine could relax your loved one’s mind and prevent him or her from tossing and turning throughout the night. Suitable methods include taking a warm bath, eating a light snack, and turning off the lights, television, and other distractions. This is a time when your loved one can meditate and wind down, allowing his or her body to fight against stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. 

Seniors who don’t manage their stress levels well could develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves on their own. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Richmond, VA, live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.

Lack of Appetite

Emotional and psychological changes are often triggered by stress. Most of these changes are manageable, yet they’re often ignored and increase the risk of depression and malnutrition. 

When your loved one’s body is unable to handle the pressure of everyday activities, his or her stomach and digestive tract may hurt. As a result, your loved one could lose his or her appetite. However, managing stress levels can keep the body relaxed and restore appetite that might have been lost due to high anxiety. 

Poor Immune Health

Elevated levels of cortisol and other stress hormones in the body can weaken the immune system and put seniors at higher risk for infections and chronic illnesses. If your parent is unable to control stress, the anxiety could trigger physical symptoms that cause the brain and body to work overtime, even when he or she isn’t in danger. Overworking the immune system causes it to weaken and takes a toll on mental and physical health. 

To boost immune function, help your loved one develop strategies that reduce stress. You can look into resources that assist seniors with various aspects of daily life or ask other family members to step up and help out more. 

Stress can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Richmond, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (804) 207-4746 to learn more about our customized care plans.


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