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Exploring the Link Between Stress and Dementia


It should come as no surprise that stress plays a major role in the health and well-being of adults. Stress is a natural response to situations that pose a risk of danger or difficulty. It’s not uncommon for individuals to experience a variety of physical responses to stress, including sweaty palms, tense muscles, confusion, or even a pounding heart. But the question is, does prolonged stress lead to dementia in old age? Before you panic, it’s important to read more about dementia to learn if it can be brought on by stress.

The Facts About Dementia and Stress

Stress can have long-term effects on the emotional, physical, and mental well-being of an aging adult. In addition, many studies have shown a direct correlation between the immune system’s role in the development of dementia. And since stress has been proven to impact the immune system, it’s only logical that the two are connected in some way. In a study funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, researchers are exploring the connection between chronic stress and the development of dementia. The goal is to identify a concrete conclusion on whether lifetime stressors are directly linked to mild or more severe cognitive decline or impairment in seniors. While the study is ongoing, preliminary findings have already uncovered that stress does indeed facilitate mild cognitive impairment in aging adults. Researchers worldwide have only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to studying dementia and stress. One of the biggest complications is that all people react to and process stress differently. Since stress is commonly linked to other physical and mental complications in adults, it can be difficult to draw definitive conclusions about its impact on dementia.

Ways to Reduce Stress for Seniors

Researchers have not reached any concrete conclusions about the impact of stress on cognitive function in aging adults. However, since stress has been proven to cause physical and mental impacts, it is in your best interests to find ways to reduce stress and improve your quality of life.

  1. Address stress-causing triggers and find coping mechanisms through therapy.
  2. Create realistic boundaries when it comes to your physical well-being.
  3. Ask to be removed from stressful events or find someone to help.
  4. Learn to let go of things that are beyond your physical control.
  5. Incorporate exercise into your daily routine to cope with stress.
  6. Learn techniques for relaxation, including meditation, journaling, or massage.

Learning new ways to avoid stress and deal with triggers is important at any age, especially for seniors who are more susceptible to physical, mental, and emotional issues. Making changes in your lifestyle now to alleviate stress will only help your well-being in the future.

Memory Care Support at Ventana by Buckner

Memory loss is a reality of aging – but it doesn’t stop our residents from living life to the fullest. Ventana by Buckner is a luxury CCRC in Dallas that provides you or your loved one with the highest level of care possible. We offer memory care services in private rooms designed for residents with mild to moderate dementia. Contact our team today to learn more about our life plan community, or click here to schedule your tour.