To even begin to help your elderly family member understand why she’s feeling anxious, you need to take a closer look at what’s happening with her mentally, emotionally, and physically. From there you can start to find solutions that help her the most. Anxiety is a lot more common than most people realize, but it can be tough to recognize it if your senior has never dealt with anxiety in the past.
Learn to Recognize Anxiety in Your Senior
Your elderly family member may not realize that she’s experiencing anxiety, especially if it’s a new set of circumstances for her. Aging adults often might feel that their heart is beating faster than usual or that they’re experiencing breathing changes, especially shallower breathing. But there are other symptoms, too, like unexplained aches and pains, brain fog, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms shouldn’t be ignored.
Talk to Her about What Is Causing Her Anxiety
Try sitting down and talking with your elderly family member about why she’s experiencing anxiety at all. There are tons of possibilities, even for someone who has a rosy life that they enjoy. Your elderly family member may be anxious about her own health, and what might happen in the future, or she might be anxious about you and other people she cares about. Talk through what might be causing her to feel this way.
Bring Her Doctor into the Discussion
Anxiety is not just a mental health condition, although many people believe that to be the case. There are physical causes for anxiety, including side effects from medications. If your elderly family member hasn’t already talked with her doctor about what she’s experiencing, it’s time to loop her doctor in. Doing so can help her to find another possible cause for what she’s experiencing.
Encourage Your Senior to Try Different Techniques to Manage Anxiety
Exercise is a fantastic way to combat anxiety, even if your elderly family member does small things like chair yoga. She definitely needs to clear any new exercise plans with her doctor first, but this is one solution she needs to try. Other techniques your senior might want to try could include journaling about her feelings and trying meditation.
Try Companion Care at Home as Well
Another cause of anxiety can often be loneliness, which is more difficult to decipher. Your elderly family member may not be socializing as much as she used to, which can lead to loneliness and depression. Having companion care at home with her regularly can start to soothe some of those anxious feelings related to lack of social engagement. Home care providers understand what it’s like for aging adults to be living on their own and having a more difficult time coping with those changes.
There’s rarely one single cause for anxiety, especially for older adults. Working through all of the possibilities to find solutions that work for your elderly family member is an important step to take. That’s going to help her to find lasting answers that work well for her.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Companion Care at Home in Madison, WI please contact the caring staff at Agape Senior Services Madison today. (608) 841-1004