The most widespread mental health issues are anxiety disorders. Anxiety affects 10 to 20 percent of older persons and can significantly lower their quality of life. Thankfully, there are several approaches to handling it. Seniors may experience anxiety for various reasons, including loneliness, social isolation, stress related to losing independence, etc.
It’s also critical to detect the symptoms of anxiety in older adults. Anxiety symptoms include being agitated, easily startled, having trouble falling asleep, and withdrawing from people. Older adults are less inclined to talk about mental or emotional issues than physical ones. If there is no physical reason for headaches, muscular tension, nausea, digestive difficulties, or racing pulse, it may indicate worry.
There are actions you may do to regulate your anxious thoughts or feelings if you or a loved one is experiencing them.
Improve Their Lifestyle
With age comes several health issues like heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc. While all of them are responsible for causing anxiety issues in seniors, urinary incontinence is one of them. Therefore, frequent urges to use the toilet or urine leakage can be a major stressful situation among seniors leading to anxiety issues.
Well, you can also say that anxiety and incontinence are interrelated. When one’s body ages, the bladder may lose its capacity to store urine. Moreover, aging leads to involuntary bladder contractions, which may become frequent eventually. So, while anxiety can increase the intensity of incontinence issues, the latter can do the same.
Science has gone a long way to develop better solutions for most problems. These days incontinence bed pads and adult briefs or pull-ups are readily available on the market, making life easier. Your beloved parents or grandparents no longer must worry about embarrassing situations of wetting their clothing because these incontinence products can be a lifesaver. It can improve their lifestyle while enabling them to live independently and confidently.
Exercising and Walking
According to research, cardiovascular exercise might produce anti-anxiety benefits after roughly five minutes. So physical exercise, whether it be walking, dancing, or simply stretching, is a useful method for reducing anxiety.
If an older person seems anxious, get them outside to take a deep breath of fresh air. According to research published in Health & Place, older persons who spend time in outdoor settings feel more refreshed, restored, and spiritually connected. In addition, even seemingly little events, such as hearing a bee buzz or the sound of water, significantly influence general health.
Proper nutrition is critical for seniors’ mental and physical health. Food fuels their brain, so getting them to eat the right food can help calm their anxious thoughts. They can control anxious thoughts by eating a balanced diet of protein, good fats, and carbs. For each of their meals, be sure to include a range of healthful meals, and indulge in their favorite snacks sometimes but in moderation.
Certain drugs have been proven to cause anxiety to rise. For instance, caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that might make them restless or anxious. To keep their mind and body calm, they must refrain from smoking and consuming significant amounts of coffee.
Many older people feel lonely, especially if their mobility gets restricted and they don’t go out into the community very often. They also find it difficult to socialize easily. Providing support for older adults who suffer from isolation can be a great strategy to reduce anxiety and other mental health issues.
The primary and most important source of social support is family. Regular visits with their siblings, kids, grandkids or other family members will help seniors boost their mood and lift their spirits. Let them video chat with relatives or friends if they can’t see them in person. The local senior center or volunteer organizations may also offer facilities for social assistance in your neighborhood.
Talking therapy entails communicating with a mental health expert one-on-one or in larger group sessions. The following are some popular therapies for anxiety:
This is a short-term therapeutic alternative that usually lasts a few weeks. The counselor’s objective is to assist clients in creating coping mechanisms for challenging circumstances. Although there are some significant differences between counseling and psychotherapy, some individuals use them interchangeably.
Psychotherapy, like counseling, strives to assist individuals in bettering their capacity to control their emotions and deal with stress. But psychotherapy lasts for a considerable time and can address various mental health problems, and psychotherapy may occasionally be of a shorter duration.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
People can learn to understand how unhelpful thinking patterns might affect their mood and behavior through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
For instance, someone worried about going to a social function could worry about not being able to socialize. The anxiety may get more intense just from the concept, leading to the individual altogether avoiding the event.
CBT assists individuals in replacing these destructive behaviors or thoughts with healthy ones. This can eventually result in less anxiety.
Anyone can experience anxiety, and there isn’t always a clear reason. Helping your elderly cope and manage their feelings is crucial, whether they are having normal nighttime anxieties, lacking support, or experiencing anxiety symptoms for any other cause.
It’s excellent to schedule an appointment with their doctor to explore various medical or psychiatric care if your loved one suffers from moderate to severe anxiety that cannot be relieved by any of the techniques mentioned above.