Anxiety is a condition of mental health that is characterized by excessive worry and fear and manifests via certain symptoms.
Anxiety disorders are on the rise for many people of all ages, including elderly adults. Family caregivers who may be concerned about an aging loved one should pay attention to their actions and determine whether they may be developing a problem with anxiety. Other people who spend time with the aging adult, such as friends, neighbors or elderly care providers, can also share their observations to see if the senior may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Here are some questions that family caregivers, elderly care providers, and others should focus on when they talk to the aging adult:
- Does the aging adult seem to worry about everything lately, both large and small issues?
- Are they often tense, trembling and breathing rapidly?
- Have they been moodier lately, swinging from high emotion to lethargic and uncaring?
- Are they overly preoccupied about a certain topic, such as their health?
- Do they struggle with gastrointestinal distress and/or headaches often?
- Have they complained about feeling tired, weak or unable to focus?
- Do they avoid activities and social events they once enjoyed?
- Are they struggling to get through daily routines?
- Has their intake of alcohol increased in recent weeks and months?
All these actions could be a sign that the aging adult is dealing with an anxiety disorder.
Family caregivers and elderly care providers should try to be reassuring and talk to the elderly adult about their worries. They should encourage the aging adult to be more social, focus on the positives in life and help them eat nutritious meals and get some exercise. However, lifestyle changes can only do so much to an anxiety disorder the aging adult needs professional treatment to truly overcome anxiety.
Treatment options with the most success involve a combination of medication and therapy. A doctor can evaluate the aging adult and determine if they are suffering from anxiety and rule out any physical cause of the symptoms. Some health issues can trigger feelings of anxiety, such as irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease. The therapy aspect must come from a trained mental health expert who will work on cognitive behavioral therapy exercises with the elderly adult. Together, they can practice some coping strategies and focus on reducing stress to alleviate the anxiety as much as possible.
Anxiety disorder is a serious mental illness that has the potential to lower an aging adult’s quality of life significantly. It can also lead to other health issues that are detrimental to seniors. Family caregivers and elderly care providers have a responsibility to keep the aging adult safe and healthy, so it’s important that they act immediately if they notice the telltale warning signs of anxiety.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Homecare in Encino, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Help. Serving All of Los Angeles County. Call Us Today (888) 989-7388
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