According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorder in the United States. With so many Americans affected by this disorder, it is common for most people to think that anxiety is easy to treat.
Contrary to popular belief, only about 37% of adults with generalized anxiety disorder ever actually receive anxiety treatment. The importance of diagnosing and treating anxiety is at an all-time high and seniors are susceptible to the disorder. The signs of anxiety aren’t always visible, and older adults don’t receive anxiety treatment because of this.
What is Senior Anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or uneasiness, concerning an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. According to that definition, you may feel that you’ve experienced anxiety at least a few times in your life. Now, imagine that feeling as a senior. Many seniors don’t have access to the resources that younger adults do because their mobility and health issues limit them. It is common for seniors to feel hopeless or discouraged because of their situation, preventing them from receiving the help they need to manage their condition properly.
What are the Signs of Anxiety?
Although generalized anxiety disorder is not commonly diagnosed, there are warning signs to look for in your loved one. Signs of anxiety differ from person to person, but it is essential to keep a vigilant eye out for one of these red flag symptoms in your loved one:
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling of weakness
- Trouble Sleeping
- Feeling nervous or tense
- Difficulty controlling worry
These signs of anxiety are common amongst most adults that struggle with the disorder. If you believe that your parents or family members are exhibiting these symptoms, it may be time to start looking for some quality senior care options.
How Can I Help My Loved One?
Watching a loved one struggle with an anxiety disorder can be tough. You may be wondering what you can do to help a loved one with anxiety. Perhaps you're also seeking what next steps should be taken to get them the aid they need. While each situation is unique, there are options to look into if your loved one needs help.
- Be there. Being around your loved one and listening to their concerns is essential in combatting anxiety. If a loved one expresses nervousness about timeliness to weekly appointments, sit down and help plan out their day to make them feel more comfortable. If getting healthy is something they are anxious about, help them work toward their goals and record their progress to show how far they’ve come to give them confidence.
- A senior living community may be the answer. If you’re unable to be there for your loved one all of the time, it may be best to consider suggesting an independent living or assisted living option. Both of these options give your loved one a support network of other older adults and skilled nursing professionals that can help them whenever they need assistance. Do some research on what’s best for your situation.
- Professional attention. It’s never a bad idea to consult a professional who understands anxiety. Look into psychologists in your area and consider recommending them to your loved one so they can receive the professional attention they needed to diagnose and receive anxiety treatment.
Anxiety is a complicated topic and may not ever be completely understood. However, there are proven ways available to diagnose and treat the disorder. If you believe your loved one needs anxiety treatment, contact us to learn more about your options for assistance.
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