Helping Seniors Cope With Anxiety

by Brent Woods

Anxiety is prevalent in the senior-years because these years comes with a lot of change. Change can make seniors anxious about the future. The senior-years may involve the death of a spouse and learning to adjust. It may also involve children who are far away and living their own lives when seniors need them the most. The elderly may be plagued by anxiety about their health and finances. No matter what the cause of the anxiety, care must be taken to ensure that it is dealt with in the proper manner before it leads to depression.

Seek Professional Help Where Necessary

Since seniors have as difficult a time dealing with change as other age groups, they may require counseling if they are worrying excessively about a particular problem. Senior anxiety that goes on for longer than six months should be dealt with by a professional. There are times when counseling alone does not help and medication such as mild relaxers may have to be prescribed to help seniors to relax.

Reassure Seniors That They Are Not Alone

Perhaps the greatest cause of anxiety in the elderly is the fear that they will not be able to take care of themselves and that they will become a burden to their loved ones. Health issues can often boost this anxiety. Seniors may start losing their vision or their hearing. They may also develop chronic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes, to name a few. These illnesses make it difficult for seniors not to worry as they get older and their bodies start deteriorating. Seniors need reassurance from family and friends that they will provide for their comfort and security. These reassurances should be backed up by actions.

Here are some things you can do to help lessen anxiety in senior family members:

  1. Help them become more organized. A senior's home should be set up in such a way that everything has its place and they know immediately where to find it. This will help decrease frustration especially if they live alone and suffer from any physical disability that can limit movement.
  2. Speak assurance into their lives. Seniors need to hear how you plan to take care of them should they be unable to do it themselves. Will you get them a home caregiver? Will you get them into a good nursing home? Will you let them live with you and your family when they cannot cope by themselves? Answering these questions in positive ways and discussing your plans can help to significantly decrease senior anxiety.
  3. Help them to take care of their finances. Financial anxiety is a common cause of senior anxiety. Seniors need to know that their finances are in good hands. Help them organize how they will spend what they have if they trust you enough to ask for advice. If you don't feel qualified to help them in this area, help them to find a good financial adviser or attorney to get their finances in order.

Helping seniors cope with anxiety is extremely important as this will assist them in having a more fulfilling and enjoyable life. (For more information on senior care, contact a company such as Quality Home Staffing Inc. Home Care Agency)