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How to Pinpoint Stress in the Elderly

Many elderly people experience increased stress and anxiety, which can be caused by loneliness, decreased physical ability, and various other health problems. Your senior loved one may be reluctant to discuss his or her mental health issues, and it isn’t always easy to tell if a symptom is the result of stress or another medical condition. Here a few ways you may be able to determine if your elderly loved one is stressed, brought to you by the staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care in Kitchener.

Headaches

When stressed, the muscles around the head and eyes tighten. A combination of hormones, body heat, and muscle tension all act to make headaches a common symptom of stress.

Shortness of Breath

Hyperventilation occurs when the body is getting too much oxygen and expelling too much carbon dioxide. Seniors experiencing stress sometimes try to control their breath, taking in too much air and causing their chest to fully expand. The body doesn’t need that excess air, which results in shortness of breath.

Blurred Vision

The adrenaline rush experienced during anxiety attacks can cause pupil dilation. When pupils dilate, more light enters the eye. Instead of making vision better, this extra light can lead to blurred vision. Hyperventilation, another result of stress,can also cause this blurriness.

Memory Loss

Stress can cause acute and chronic changes in the brain, resulting in damage that may affect the memory. The body secretes hormones like cortisol into the bloodstream during times of stress, making learning and remembering things difficult.

Reduced Appetite

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, plays a role in both anxiety and the feeling of hunger. A combination of serotonin, neurotransmitters, and hormones are related to anxiety, digestion, and hunger, and all play a role in decreased appetite. Many seniors are also preoccupied with their stress, leading them to care less about eating.

Since stress can lead to further complications, knowing what to look for and how to treat it can be crucial for your loved one’s wellbeing. However, you may not always be available to provide the companionship and care your loved one may require. For hourly care Kitchener families trust, reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers are expertly trained in the revolutionary Balanced Care Method, which promotes healthy living through diet, physical activity, sharp minds, social ties, and calmness and purpose, all ways to help manage your loved one’s stress. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give Home Care Assistance a call today at (519) 954-2111 and speak with one of our qualified Care Managers.