How You Can Stop the Increasing Senior Anxiety

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An older man experiencing senior anxiety is comforted with a hug by his caregiver.

Do you know an aging loved one who is struggling with sleeping through the night, experiencing the joy they once felt in pastime activities, or nurturing relationships with family and friends? Before attributing these issues solely to the natural process of aging, let’s consider another common factor that might be at play: senior anxiety.

Anxiety in seniors can look differently than you might expect. Signs can include:

  • Overreacting
  • Nightmares
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Obsessive thoughts

You may also see anxiety manifest physically with symptoms such as:

  • Trembling
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

What’s the Root Cause of Senior Anxiety? 

To start, remember that anxiety doesn’t have just one clear cause. Instead, it’s often influenced by a mix of environmental and situational factors that are commonly associated with aging, such as:

  • Medication side effects
  • Health and mobility challenges
  • Loss of independence
  • Grief
  • Childhood trauma
  • And various other factors

Common Types of Anxiety in Seniors:

Your loved one may be experiencing a particular type of anxiety. For instance:

  • Phobias: Phobias are heightened anxieties and fears around specific objects or situations. For example, someone may experience heightened anxiety only when facing medical appointments, thunderstorms, insects, heights, or other specific triggers.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD drives individuals to perform repetitive actions to manage unwanted compulsions or thoughts, providing a sense of control in challenging situations. For instance, a person might feel the need to repeatedly check that the oven is turned off or count the tiles on the floor before leaving their home.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: This type of anxiety is marked by extreme self-consciousness and nervousness in social settings, leading individuals to avoid socializing and hindering their ability to build and maintain social connections.

How You Can Help Ease Senior Anxiety:

If you’ve been worried about a senior you love struggling with anxiety, you have the power to help!

  • Start with making a schedule to visit the senior’s primary care physician. They can explore various treatment options, including prescription medications, counseling, and lifestyle adjustments.
  • Encourage them to stay away from nicotine, caffeine, and other stimulants that make anxiety worse.
  • Make sure they get a full night of rest. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can increase anxiety by as much as 30%.
  • Create a safe space for the person to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. This can be immensely helpful and liberating for them.

Past these steps, Senior HomeCare of Tucson is always available to offer the support you need. Our caregivers make excellent companions for older adults, offering a listening ear and engaging in calming, enjoyable activities. We can also assist with meal preparation and promote stress management techniques, among other services.

If you’d like more information on how we can help someone you love who is battling anxiety, please reach out to us at 520-355-4787 for more information on our customized in-home care in Oro Valley, Catalina, Tucson, and the surrounding areas.