One of the underlying factors that increase the risks of dementia in seniors is stress. Stress affects the functioning of the immune system, which plays a key role in the development of memory-related problems such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. When stressed, the body releases an important hormone, cortisol, which has been linked to several memory-related problems. Also, several studies have proven the direct link between stress and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, which can then increase vulnerability to forgetfulness or memory loss. Fortunately, there are important steps you can take to lower your stress levels and, therefore, the risk of dementia.
Identify Sources of Stress
Researchers believe that people who experience psychological stress have a higher risk of developing dementia. Psychological distress often manifests as vital exhaustion, irritability, the feeling of demoralization, and extreme tiredness and can be caused by traumatic experiences or major life events. By identifying potential stressors, you can take active measures by visiting a therapist or working personally to cope with them.
Change Your Environment
As an older adult, your body may be more sensitive to stress, constant stimulation, and a toxic environment than younger people. One amazing tip to reduce the risk of dementia and manage stress appropriately is to consider moving into a retirement community where you will enjoy a peaceful and calm environment. You will also enjoy support and care from professionally trained team members working together to meet your physical, emotional, and mental needs.
Engage in Physical Exercise
Regular exercises can drastically improve your mood, increase energy levels and reduce stress. More so, older adults who remain physically active and exercise regularly have lesser chances of developing diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, and heart diseases—all of which are risk factors for dementia. Consider aerobics exercises such as hiking, dancing, walking, and low-impact exercises for older adults to maintain general body fitness. If you have reduced activity, try exercises that can help you maintain stability and balance, such as tai chi or yoga.
Use Relaxation Techniques
Taking as many breaks as needed and getting plenty of rest to conserve your energy is important. When you feel stressed or overwhelmed, try relaxation techniques such as gardening, knitting, listening to music, arts and crafts, journaling, meditating, or walking. Look for what makes you feel relaxed and calm, and make it your go-to technique whenever you feel stressed.
Improve your Sleep Habits
Lack of sleep or insomnia is a significant stressor that can increase the risk of dementia for many older adults. Aside from being a risk factor contributing to stress and dementia, insomnia can also be an early warning sign. Dementia changes the way the brain works and manages sleep. Thus, it is essential to take sleeping struggles seriously and work towards keeping both stress and insomnia at bay.
A Stress-free Retirement Community
If you are looking for a peaceful, quiet, calm, and stress-free community where you can enjoy healthy aging, you have come to the right place. We have resort-style communities with beautiful living spaces and luxury apartment amenities here. In addition, we provide high-quality care and wellness programs and several senior living options depending on your needs so that you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Contact us today!