Most older adults have a difficult time handling stress. Due to this fact, you should know there are many negative effects that stress has on elderly adults. Whether you are caring for an elderly aunt, neighbor, parent, or any other elderly adult, these are some effects that stress may have on them. Learning more about these effects can better assist you when helping the elderly adult in your life.
Worsened Immune System
One of the most common effects that stress has on elderly adults is a worsened immune system. When the body is stressed out, the person who is stressed is more likely to become ill. They have a more difficult time fighting off germs and infections. Since elderly adults are already more likely to get ill than younger adults, the stress just makes it that much easier for them to become ill.
Stress can also fill the body with more adrenaline. This increases the person’s blood pressure and heart rate. The relationship between increased blood pressure and heart rate connects with heart disease. If your elderly loved one is stressed out for long periods of time, it is not unlikely that they will start experiencing heart issues. In addition, many people who are stressed overeat, drink alcohol in excess, or use drugs. These are all other factors that can lead to heart issues.
Hearing and Vision Loss
As previously mentioned, stress can cause increased production of adrenaline. This increased production of adrenaline can cause constriction of blood vessels which can lead to temporary vision and hearing loss.
Stress can make someone sick to their stomach. The reason for this is because the fight or flight response is activated non-stop. The stress causes their central nervous system to shut down the blood flow throughout their body. This can lead to contractions in the digestive tract. Many elderly adults who have high levels of stress also have ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome.
These are some of the effects that stress has on elderly adults. Whether you or elderly care providers are taking care of your elderly loved one, if they are experiencing stress, they are likely to have at least one of these issues. It is important that you do what you can to help reduce their stress levels, especially since some of these effects can be life-threatening. You want to improve the quality of life in your loved one and increase their life expectancy. Stress isn’t going to help you do that. Start today by helping your elderly loved one to lower their stress levels.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Elba, AL, please contact the caring staff at Wiregrass HomeCare today. Call us at 334-539-5900.