Stress Takes a Toll on the Mind


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​Study: Stress Can Take a Toll on the Mind

From Gary Freeman of the Home Instead Senior Care® office in Red Oak, TX

Q.    I thought that life would be relaxing now that I have retired and am living out my golden years at age 85. But I feel stressed out at every turn. There are problems with my grandchildren and my neighbors. And the loneliness I am feeling after the death of my husband last year just doesn't improve. Oh well. What's stress, right?

Stress can be damaging in more ways than you may think. For one, feeling stressed out increases the likelihood that seniors will develop mild cognitive impairment, often a prelude to full-blown Alzheimer's disease, according to research.

Scientists found that highly stressed research participants were more than twice as likely to become impaired than those who were not. Because stress is treatable, the results suggest that detecting and treating stress in older people might help delay or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer's.

This study looked at the connection between chronic stress and "amnestic mild cognitive impairment" (aMCI), the most common type of MCI, which is primarily characterized by memory loss.

"Our study provides strong evidence that perceived stress increases the likelihood that an older person will develop aMCI," said Richard Lipton, M.D., senior author of the study, vice chair of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System. "Fortunately, perceived stress is a modifiable risk factor for cognitive impairment, making it a potential target for treatment."

Be sure to discuss with your doctor the stress you are feeling. Your physician may make some suggestions. It sounds as though you also could use some quality companionship since your husband died.

Senior centers and other organizations are great places to find others who can offer a little friendship and activities that could help you de-stress your life.

In addition, contact your local Home Instead Senior Care® office. A Home Instead CAREGiverSM could provide a companion for activities and hobbies to help take the daily stresses off of your life. What's more, a CAREGiver could assist with tasks around the house such as light housekeeping, meal preparation and medication reminders. Call today to learn more.

For more information about your local Home Instead Senior Care office, contact Gary Freeman at 972-576-1100​ or go to HomeInstead.com/742. To learn more about the study, visit http://www.einstein.yu.edu/news/releases/1137/stress-in-older-people-increases-risk-for-pre-alzheimers-condition/http://www.einstein.yu.edu/news/releases/1137/stress-in-older-people-increases-risk-for-pre-alzheimers-condition/.

Each Home Instead Senior Care® franchise office is independently owned and operated.​

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