What Anxiety Might Look Like for Your Senior
Anxiety might not have been a problem for your senior in the past, but many aging adults do develop issues with anxiety. Understanding a little about anxiety and what it looks like can help you to be there for your senior as she deals with it.
There Doesn’t Have to Be a “Reason”
One of the biggest misconceptions about anxiety in general is that there needs to be a reason that the person is anxious. In reality, your aging family member might be anxious about something in particular or about nothing specific at all. She may not be comfortable being alone when you’re not there, for instance, so having homecare providers available when you’re not can help. Your senior’s health might make her feel anxious, but she may also just be jumpy and feel out of sorts for no reason that she can explain to you.
Symptoms Vary from Person to Person
While there are some common symptoms of anxiety, not everyone experiences all the symptoms all the time. Your senior might have trouble concentrating, for instance, or she might experience insomnia due to worries about what might happen at night. In more extreme situations, she might sweat or have a higher pulse than normal. She might even feel short of breath, dizzy, or nauseated. This is also why anxiety is sometimes overlooked. The symptoms can often look like they’re caused by something else entirely.
Some Lifestyle Changes Can Help
If your elderly family member has anxiety due to a specific cause, such as her health, then taking concrete steps to improve her health can make a difference in her anxiety levels. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising within her limits can also be helpful. Practicing relaxing activities, like meditation or deep breathing, can also help.
If it Affects Her Quality of Life, Talk to Her Doctor
When anxiety starts to affect your elderly family member’s quality of life, your senior may need some additional help. Talk to her doctor if anxiety is getting out of hand or is causing her to stop doing things that she loves doing. There may be some really easy changes that her doctor can suggest that make a big difference. The answer isn’t always medication, but that’s a possibility, too.
Anxiety doesn’t always make sense, even to the person who suffers from it. Your elderly family member doesn’t necessarily want to feel anxious, but that doesn’t mean that she can help it, either. Finding the combination of solutions that works for her is one of the best things that you can do for her.