How to Help a Senior Loved One With Anxiety

49

Image Source

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. 

Good Read: Yes, Anxiety Is Very Serious And Here’s The Proof

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
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating 
  • 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. 

Image Source

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. If they’re hesitating to seek professional help because they don’t know how to tell your doctor you have anxiety, you can help them realize that it’s best to seek for professional advice and medication if needed to properly manage anxiety.  

Good Read: Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder in the Elderly

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. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

three + 4 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.