Helping Older Adults Living with Anxiety
Senior Care in Connecticut and Anxiety
Everyone can feel stressed, worried, or even anxious at times. For most, those experiences will quickly fade away with some reassurance or rationalization. But for a person living with an anxiety disorder, it can seem impossible to escape those feelings. People can develop anxiety at any time in their lives. That includes old age. If an aging relative or loved one suffers from anxiety, knowing more about this condition can help.
What is Anxiety?
General anxiety disorder is a condition that causes a person to feel excessively anxious for extended periods. It can arrive suddenly or slowly build with intensity. The person might be worried about an upcoming appointment or event. Or they might also not understand why they are feeling anxious. Anxiety can become so severe that it’s debilitating and makes it difficult to carry on with daily life.
What Are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of anxiety can range from mild to extreme. The worry about something is often disproportionate to the impact of the actual outcome. The affected person can spend too much time planning for every worst-case scenario. They can see things as threatening even when they are not. They become so invested in their worry that they are unable to stop worrying. Concentration and restlessness can emerge. It is this trouble dealing with uncertainty that can make it difficult to function in daily life.
Anxiety can also cause physical symptoms like fatigue, trouble sleeping, and tense or aching muscles. Trembling or twitchiness can occur. Sweating can become more noticeable. It can also lead to gastrointestinal issues such as nausea or diarrhea.
How Can Anxiety Be Managed?
Anxiety often requires medical treatment. But there are ways to help manage the symptoms for an aging family member at home as well.
- Exercise is not just good for the body. It is also great for the mind because it can reduce anxious feelings. Encourage physical activity to help a loved one feel less anxious and more healthy.
- Learn relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing. Then teach the relative how to do them to counter anxious moments.
- Be sure they are eating nutritious food by serving balanced meals and always keep healthy snacks on hand.
- Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake. Each of these can make anxiety symptoms worse. Minimize the consumption of items like coffee, soda, some teas, and chocolate.
An experienced senior care provider can help a family member reduce feelings of anxiety too. Caregivers can prepare light, healthy meals and help older adults exercise by taking walks or driving them to exercise classes. They can also remind them to use relaxation techniques and take medication as prescribed by a doctor. Having a reliable home care agency support a loved one and assist with household tasks can help minimize the sources of their anxiety for a stress-free home environment.
Do you have a parent or aging loved one living with anxiety? We provide senior care in Connecticut and Rhode Island that can help.