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Stress and Seniors

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As we age, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Our children may move to a new city, our friends can become harder to reach, and time can become more difficult to manage. Simple tasks such as getting out of bed or reading the newspaper can become frustrating hurdles. And as our physical health begins to change, our mental health follows – often paving the way for stress to poke its head back into our lives.

Dr. Michelle Dosset, an internal and integrative medicine specialist at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, had studied the effects of stress on seniors. In her research, she attributes aging cells to increased levels of stress. Here’s what she had to share with Harvard Health Publishing:

“Normally when we're stressed, our brains get flooded with stress hormones, the midbrain takes over, and the front of the brain—which controls concentration, attention and decision-making—works less well. Stress hormones in the brain can also contribute to short-term memory problems that are unrelated to dementia or age-related memory loss. Restorative sleep helps to flush stress hormones from the brain. However, many older adults have sleep problems. Stress may make it more difficult to fall back asleep, and the inability to clear these stress hormones from the brain during sleep means that the cognitive effects of stress can worsen over time."

Provided by Healthline, here are some steps that you can take towards relieving stress:

•Exercise.

•Reduce your caffeine intake. 

•Have a laugh.

•Take a yoga class.

•Listen to relaxing music.

•Take a deep breath.

At Trilogy, our senior living communities have been designed to combat stressors and keep our residents engaged in fun, fulfilling ways. With our Lifelong Learning program, rather than worrying about your health, you can take a course on it. If you’re wanting to improve your palate, talk to one of our chefs about adjusting your diet. And if you just need some time away, the Trilogy Travel Club will be ready to take you on your next adventure. Click here to read more about our Life Enrichment programs!