Our elderly family members are prone to developing anxiety for a variety of reasons. From fears of falling and injuring themselves, to physical or emotional distresses – anxiety can run rampant among the elderly. It is important to know how to detect it, and how to help our loved ones.

Warning Signs for Anxiety

Keeping a close eye on our elderly family members can help to let us know early on if they are developing anxiety. Some of the warning signs of anxiety are as follows:
• Physical symptoms reported, such as racing heart, shallow breather, nausea, or appetite changes.
• Behavioural changes such as suddenly mixing up their routines, or being over preoccupied. Avoiding social situations may also be noted, along with extreme behaviors such as hoarding.
• Emotional changes may occur such as excessive worrying, obvious moodiness or mood swings, or depression.

Treatment for Anxiety in the Elderly
If symptoms of anxiety are reported, it is important to implement a treatment plan to ensure that the anxious senior gets appropriate help.

Some helpful tips for relieving anxiety include:
• Including the patient’s primary care physician to rule out physical problems, and to prescribe medications or other treatment if necessary.
• Investigate into triggers for their anxiety – if fear of falling is a trigger, check out local programs to help overcome this issue.
• Encourage the senior to volunteer their time and become more social. Providing a meaningful purpose can help seniors to manage their changing circumstances in life.

Experiencing anxiety is a fairly common ordeal with the elderly as their lives change around them – from moving into seniors’ homes, fear of falling or injuring themselves, and other life changes. Luckily, there are many great programs to help them overcome their anxiety.

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