According to statistics, one out of four seniors has mental health problems. This means that a considerable number of adults aged 65 and above may experience anxiety and depression, among other mental health issues.
One shouldn’t take anxiety so lightly, because such a condition is a real deal. It can interfere with your loved one’s quality of life and can make their life miserable if left untreated.
What can you do to help if a senior loved one has anxiety?
Recognize common anxiety signs and symptoms
Individuals with anxiety experience fear, worry, or nervousness. They often have thoughts of “what ifs” and are always worrying that things might go wrong. Some are afraid of being alone, while others fear going out. Sleepless nights are a common occurrence, which can affect their mood and energy levels the next day.
Other symptoms of anxiety include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Lack of appetite
- Heart palpitations
- Inability to make decisions
Know the causes of their anxiety
One common cause of anxiety in the elderly is when they have certain health conditions. Studies show that seniors with cancer, diabetes, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease often manifest signs and symptoms related to anxiety disorder. If you find these signs and symptoms exhibited by your beloved elderly, then they may be experiencing anxiety.
Other common causes of anxiety in seniors are:
- Adverse events they experienced in the past
- Stressful life events
- Poor sleep quality
- Side effects of prescription drugs
- Physical limitations
- Alcohol or prescription drug misuse
Find a reliable caregiver if needed
Some seniors would rather stay in their homes than stay in a facility. If this is the case, then don’t force them to stay in nursing homes as it can only make matters worse. The good news is that you can now hire a competent caregiver from one of the many home health agencies. A caregiver can stay for several hours a day to assist your loved one with their needs. Make sure to do your research to check which of the home health agencies can best help your loved one.
Let your senior loved one know you’re here to help
Let your elderly loved one know they have someone they can depend on, and that includes you, other family members, and friends. Giving comfort and assurance is one of the best things you can offer to someone who has anxiety.
Encourage them to seek professional help
More often than not, the elderly need medical attention, so we have to make sure that they have the right health insurance plan, if not make sure to check out with their local Medicare provider. Your elderly loved one may object to the idea of seeking mental health care practitioners. It is important to realize that some are most likely to deny the need to seek professional help. Take small steps at a time. Encouraging them to address their concerns with your family physician is an excellent way to start.
It is essential to take note that anxiety should be taken seriously – especially among the elderly. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll find it easier to help an elderly loved one fight anxiety and manage its symptoms.