Even if an elderly adult hasn’t suffered with anxiety for most of their life, the stresses brought on by aging can often trigger this common mental health issue. The senior years are full of changes, from declining health, loss of loved ones, financial concerns, memory problems, loss of independence and the fear of the future. Many seniors must rely on family caregivers and elderly care providers for their daily needs. When seniors have anxiety that lasts for longer than six months, it may be a true disorder and they need to see a doctor and a therapist.
Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder in Aging Adults
Most family caregivers are aware that one or more serious life changes can bring on anxiety in seniors. However, they need to look for symptoms, so they can find help for their elderly loved one should they reach a point where their mental health is taking a toll. Some of the symptoms include excessive worry, procrastination, avoiding others, insomnia, nausea, sweating, lack of focus and a rapid heartbeat.
It’s not uncommon for anxiety and depression to appear at the same time, so family caregivers and elderly care providers should also look for symptoms of depression as well. Common symptoms include lack of motivation, appetite change, irritability, recurring thoughts of death, avoiding people and social situations and feelings of worthlessness. If family caregivers or elderly care providers notice symptoms for anxiety or depression, they need to get the aging adult to the doctor or to a therapist quickly.
Treatment for Aging Adults with Anxiety Disorder
Once a doctor diagnoses the aging adult with anxiety disorder, treatments can begin. Family caregivers and elderly care providers should arrange for the senior to regularly see a mental health professional in a professional setting. For aging adults that cannot easily go to a clinic, many therapists now talk to their patients via video chats. Typical treatments include cognitive behavior therapy, medication, reducing stress and learning new coping skills.
Family caregivers and elderly care providers can also provide plenty of support for the aging adult as they face mental health counselling and treatment. They can help the senior make lifestyle changes that can have a positive effect on anxiety. These include meditation, exercise, spiritual guidance, healthy food and avoiding bad health habits like smoking, caffeine, alcohol and drugs. Getting involved in social activities is also quite important in breaking away from anxiety. With the help of an elderly care provider, aging adults can focus on the things that are important to them and not stress over tasks like laundry and meal prep.
Family caregivers that want to help their elderly loved ones manage their anxiety can encourage close communication with the therapist and take medication as prescribed. To help calm their aging relatives, family caregivers and elderly care providers should always be supportive and reassuring.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Elderly Care in South Pasadena, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff At Assisting Hands Home Care Today! 727-748-4211.
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