Stress: How does stress impact your senior over a longer period of time?
The reality is that it can have some serious physical impacts on your senior’s body. Some of these effects are ones that can create even bigger health problems for your elderly family member.
Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Issues
When she’s under stress constantly, your senior may not notice that her resting heart rate is elevated and her breathing tends to be more shallow. This happens because of the cortisol and the adrenaline that fuel stress responses. Over time, this places way too much strain on your senior’s lungs and heart.
Muscle Pain and Soreness
Consistent and long-term stress can cause your elderly family member to hold her body in ways that contribute to muscle tightness. Often your senior may not even realize that her muscles are tense and tight, but still may notice the soreness. Reducing stress levels can help to alleviate the tension causing muscle soreness.
Lots of people who are under stress find that they hold it in their neck, shoulders, and jaw. That contributes to head pain and tightness and can even contribute to headaches and migraines. Circulation trouble can also contribute to headaches and head-related pains. Consciously relaxing those areas of the body can help to reduce the occurrence of headaches and upper body pain.
Stress: Skin Conditions
It can be damaging to your senior’s skin as well. Nutrients that might have ordinarily helped to keep your senior’s skin healthy might be needed elsewhere by her body to deal with stress responses. If your senior is already susceptible to skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema, stress just makes the situation worse. Reducing it can help your elderly family member’s body to recover.
Lowered Immune Function
As if all of these other issues weren’t bad enough, your elderly family member’s immune system might take a bit of a hit from it. Her body is so busy trying to battle it that there just isn’t enough left to put toward fighting off outside foes, like germs. This is a big problem if your elderly family member is exposed to anything that could make her seriously ill.
Helping your senior to deal with the stress she’s experiencing doesn’t have to be complicated. Sit down with her and talk about what’s giving her the most trouble. The solution might be as simple as hiring elderly care providers to take over difficult tasks for her and free up her time and energy.