Stress and anxiety are common emotions among people of all ages. But anxiety in seniors goes undiagnosed, as the greater emphasis is on curbing dementia, depression, and other health conditions.
According to Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, approximately 10-20 percent of seniors have anxiety disorders. When untreated, the anxiety can result in cognitive impairment, suicidal thoughts, bad health, and poor quality of life.
It is a disorder that develops in worry, apprehension, confusion, phobias, and dread. It begins with overthinking and overanalyzing the probable outcomes and their impact. The patients are mostly riddled with these thoughts and phobias. They immensely distress themselves as the body is on high alert. Here are some common signs of anxiety:
Anxiety can lead to dire consequences, and so these signs should not be ignored, especially in seniors. So now, let’s look at some of the ways that will help reduce anxiety and enable the elderly to enjoy some peace of mind.
Mindfulness is a perfect practice to freshen up the mind. The idea is to focus on the present without worrying about the past or future for a few minutes. The American Psychological Association also states mindfulness to be helpful in soothing feelings of anxiety and stress.
Mindfulness is a way to identify your state of mind and have a grip on your emotions, and so it’s a really powerful way to overcome the feelings of anxiety in seniors. Moreover, mindfulness is a memory-boosting agent, which adds up to the positive impact it has on the elderly.
Exercising and physical activity is directly related to good health. Every time a person indulges in a workout or exercise, they release endorphins. Endorphins are feel-good hormones that instantly lift the mood. Seniors cannot indulge in any strenuous activity, but here are some ways to incorporate physical activity into their routine. These include:
A doctor with complete knowledge of health conditions and history will serve as your best guide in determining a workout plan for seniors. So consult a professional today and let the seniors enjoy healthy activities that lead to better mental as well as physical well-being.
Eating healthily and on time plays a key part in maintaining a person’s overall health. Plus, in the case of seniors, a perfect diet plan is very important as their health is already deteriorating day by day. So make sure to devise a perfect food strategy so that their daily nutrition requirements are met.
Also, substances like nicotine and caffeine need regulation as they trigger jittery behavior and anxiety if taken in larger quantities. Tea, coffee, and cigarettes are the actual enemies, and gradually reducing their daily consumption will help.
Also, make it a point to include them in social gatherings such as family meetups, Christmas dinners, or occasional get-togethers with the whole family.
Most importantly, incorporate all food groups in healthy moderation. Balanced levels of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats keep the brain healthy.
Doctors lay a great emphasis on having a routine for seniors. Lack or absence of routine can also induce anxiety and a sense of being at a loss. A healthy routine plays an important role in case the patients are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Having a routine gives them a sense of surety and purpose. They look forward to milestones. Creating plans for seniors will also help them establish a sense of accomplishment as they achieve small goals daily.
Lack of sleep is another important factor that contributes to anxiety and stress. Having a proper sleeping schedule is essential for people of all ages, and so its importance for seniors cannot be overlooked.
Moreover, it is important to note that anxiety and uneasiness can keep sleep at bay. And this can become a regular occurrence which will then start affecting mental health. Hence it is vital to work around a plan that promotes sleep.
One can incorporate some of these things to improve the sleep cycle:
When the elderly are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, contacting the doctor is the best bet. Most of the time, seniors with anxiety end to ignore the signs, leading to a multiplied effect. It is always advised not to take things lightly. Most of the time, chronic anxiety can be the underlying cause of some severe health conditions. Diseases like hyperthyroidism, Lyme disease, or cardiac issue could trigger anxiety.
Therapy is the easiest and best non-invasive method of treating anxiety. People of all ages see visible changes in their anxiety levels after a few sessions. Elders too experience notable changes when they communicate their feelings to a professional.
These specialists are trained in the game and help them combat their anxieties without judgment. They help in figuring out the triggers of anxiety and how to combat it, leading to better mental health.
People do not realize that anxiety is a problem and needs immediate attention. The worst part is that it can lead to harmful consequences, including suicide. Developing anxiety in seniors is quite common. However, if the patient is receptive and is able to communicate their issues, their feelings can be reduced to a greater extent. So make sure the sufferer is properly looked after and engages in healthy activities as well as socializing so that they can stay engaged and combat the fears that have been haunting them.
And remember that in all such cases, Cascade Valley is your prime supporter. Our love and care will definitely give your seniors the attention they deserve. So join hands with us and let your loved ones enjoy their life to the fullest.