7 Sources of Stress that Can Boost Alzheimer’s Risk

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Stressful Things that Can Increase the Risk of Alzheimer in Montgomery, AL

As the years go by, researchers gain a better understanding of the physiological events that contribute to Alzheimer’s development. There are also many stress factors that may be more likely to lead to the disorder. Some of the stressors are preventable, while others require medical intervention.

1. Depression

The majority of people become depressed at one time or another. However, the negative thoughts and feelings typically subside. Chronic depression is another matter that puts the body and brain under continual stress. Depression leads to tissue shrinkage and inflammation, which causes neuron and neurotransmitter malfunction along with reducing neuroplasticity. As such, seniors lose the ability to learn and experience memory loss and other types of cognitive impairment.

2. Loss of Loved Ones

As adults grow older, they’re more likely to lose significant others, friends, and family members due to chronic medical conditions or natural causes. Some might experience loss as a result of tragic events. The stress of losing a loved one leads to depression and an inability to mentally focus. If the grieving process continues for an inordinate amount of time, neuron damage may occur.

3. Contact Sports

In recent years, traumatic brain injury experienced while playing contact sports has been shown to cause permanent damage that leads to cognitive impairment. Even minor injuries that occurred during youth have been linked to the neurodegenerative process known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The inflammation, swelling, and hemorrhage from a brain injury may lead to irreversible damage that encourages the processes associated with Alzheimer’s. 

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare services. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans 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 stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

4. Substance Abuse

Seniors who develop dependencies on alcohol or drugs invite stress on the brain. Chronic substance abuse alters brain chemistry and leads to a mental and physical need for the substance. Alcohol and drugs also have the potential to damage neurons and cause malfunction over time. By interfering with normal cellular functions, these substances cause the brain to become more susceptible to Alzheimer’s development.

5. Poor Diet

Habitually eating a diet rich in fat and sugar takes a toll on the brain. High fat intake progresses to high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which cause blood vessel narrowing. The brain cannot receive the oxygen and nutrient-rich blood cells needed to function properly. Chronic sugar intake causes systemic inflammation, which damages neurons. 

In Montgomery, in-home 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.

6. Insufficient Restful Sleep 

While asleep, the brain performs housekeeping duties that include reducing the number of potentially harmful amyloid proteins and other waste products in the brain. Not getting restful sleep for seven to nine hours each night also impedes cardiovascular health, which in turn reduces the circulation and oxygen to the brain.

7. Family Feuds

Tension among family members often causes emotional and mental stress for seniors. Cortisol levels rise, which causes systemic inflammation. When feeling anxiety, depression, frustration, or anger secondary to poor family dynamics, older adults may turn to unhealthy foods or alcohol to self-soothe, which causes further cellular damage.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Montgomery, AL, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (334) 593-3988 today.


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