In this brief Q&A Bonaventure Senior Living CEO Kelley D. Hamilton of Salem, Oregon answers some questions from seniors about stress and memory loss. Kelley D. Hamilton of Salem, Oregon advises that people of all ages can successfully combat these problems. By alleviating stress in our lives, Kelley D. Hamilton of Salem, Oregon believes we have the potential to better enjoy our normal routines.
Q: How can I manage my stress?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: It’s important to first determine what triggers it. Stress is brought on by many elements, including cultural factors, hormones and genetics.
Q: Who’s more prone to stress: men or women?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: A man’s blood pressure will rise more sharply than a woman’s during a stress episode. However, women will typically feel moments of stress more regularly. Both genders can experience symptoms.
Q: Can symptoms be detected?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: In most cases, a stress episode is easily recognizable. For people who experience stress as a constant in their lives, symptoms like a tightening of the throat or a knot in the stomach can be subtle.
Q: How should I address stress?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: You may begin by performing a “full body scan.”
Q: What’s that?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Keeping a daily journal of habits and routines is helpful. This record will determine if stress is just an occasional occurrence or something more serious.
Q: What are some notable symptoms of stress?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Stress often manifests itself in increased heart rate and stomach issues.
Q: What’s the first course of action to reduce stress?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Exercise is wonderful stress reliever, and a necessity in staving off memory loss. The brain regions that show the most prominent decay during late adulthood are those that benefit most from regular exercise.
Q: How often should I exercise?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Amounts vary from person to person, and you should always consult a doctor before starting any major exercise regimen, but a good target goal should be about 150 minutes each week of moderate aerobic exercise.
Q: What activities should I consider?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Activities such as jogging, swimming and biking are recommended. Swimming in particular is great for seniors because it’s a low impact exercise.
Q: Why do you think those are the best types of exercise?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: It’s pretty simple. These forms of exercise produce a good sweat and make the heart pump faster. They can also be fun and allow you to set your own pace.
Q: What else might help me?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Sleep is often overlooked as part of a healthy diet and exercise regimen, but maintaining a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will do wonders for you.
Q: What if I suffer from insomnia and falling asleep is an issue?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: For those who have trouble falling asleep, sometimes the tried-and-true tricks may work. Most commonly reading books or listening to some relaxing music. Some sleep therapists also recommend only going to bed when you feel sleepy, so your body associates the bed with sleep. Everyone is a little different and you may find certain methods work better than others.
Q: Is a certain diet necessary?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Many doctors say that it’s best to avoid caffeine, nicotine or acidic foods before bedtime.
Q: Anything else to avoid?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: I would suggest intentionally unplugging from all forms of technology such as laptops, cell phones and televisions. Eliminate distractions which may keep you awake. Sometimes simply thinking too hard about trying to sleep can keep your mind active and prevent sleep, which is why some people recommend “white noise” such as the sound of a mountain stream.
Q: In your opinion, what’s one of the most important things to note about memory loss?
Kelley D. Hamilton, Salem Oregon: Memory loss is not just an age-related condition. It’s also a function of our busy lifestyles. Certainly genetics can play a part, but keeping your mind and body active is important to help keep your brain functioning optimally.
Kelley D. Hamilton of Salem, Oregon, is the CEO at Bonaventure Senior Living, one of the leading senior living organizations in the United States. For Kelley D. Hamilton of Salem, Oregon, contributing to the health and happiness of seniors in Bonaventure communities is one of his greatest achievements.