As people reach their senior years, they start to worry about their physical condition, and that’s natural. However, those who are prone to anxiety hold onto this feeling of worry longer and more intensely. They would even insist on seeing the doctor for whatever little thing was bothering them. There might be something to it, or maybe not, but they can’t tell the difference. They just surrender everything to the physician.
Here are some of the things that worry the old folks: feelings of dependence, cost of living, medical expenses, loneliness, fear of falling, and death. They are more likely to talk about physical discomforts than their concerns and fears, though. Without having to go into psychotherapy with whomever you’re taking care of, here’s a simple action plan that can be integrated into their lives to manage those anxieties.
A habitual procedure in one’s lifestyle lessens stress among the elderly as it adds predictability to their day. The absence of this organized arrangement can be a source of mental discomfort, especially among those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. A daily schedule or a weekly plan gives them something to look forward to. It works even better if the routine includes things they find interesting, like relaxing hobbies.
- Physical Activity
Seniors should get enough exercise. It’s the best way to calm a restless mind. Even better is that it quiets an active mental state at the end of the day and prepares it for sleep. The most popular among them are swimming or water aerobics, walking or hiking, and dancing. You can also include simplified yoga, which is done while sitting on a chair.
- Relaxing Hobbies
Aside from the physical activities that the elderly can get into for health and fitness, one can reintroduce them to leisure pursuits of the past and make them a part of their day. Artistic endeavors like drawing or painting might just be their cup of tea. Gardening might work. Listening to music is a surefire universal preference. Some are into cooking and baking. Those will work as well. Whatever gives them a feeling of fulfillment will work.
- Social Interaction
Helping seniors get over their social isolation is a good way to relieve their anxiety. Organizing a community program that’s interesting enough for everybody to be a part of will do the trick. Also, encouraging the family to visit once or twice a month can improve their frame of mind. Many of those who are in the twilight of their lives feel lonely. Associating with their kinsfolk and peers can do wonders, that’s for sure.
- Diet Changes
Proper nutrition varies according to age. What was a thumbs-up diet for people in their 20s will no longer be okay once you hit your 60s. The diet that fuels your body and brain to its maximum level in your youth may be the very same food that should be avoided once you’re in your senior years. It’s important that the appropriate balance of nutrients for one’s age be achieved, as diet affects one’s mental state.
- Constant Consult with a Doctor
Senior citizens are so aware of the physical infirmities they feel, imagined or not. They constantly complain about pain here and discomfort there. What they need is regular face-to-face contact with a doctor to whom they can complain and get professional feedback in return. This gives them certified assurance that they’re fine and will somehow feel at peace.
Therapy is effective in treating anxiety among seniors. That’s why it’s important that they undergo counseling as much as visiting a physician. The elderly find it easier to sit down with a professional on what their concerns are about their mental health. On the side of the therapist, he or she can figure out the triggers of a senior’s worry. Anxiety is a major problem among seniors and it must be dealt with effectively.
The Good News
Old enough to retire but young enough to still enjoy it can be a reality in a senior citizen’s life. The effects of anxiety among older people can be managed with the use of the action plan we just counted down. Of course, it’s important to remember how frequently they take the medications their doctor has prescribed for them. It goes without saying, which is why we didn’t and just saved it till the end.
In case a loved one has reached the level of anxiety, depression, or incapacity that already needs professional attention, there’s Care World. We are a home care agency where you can hire caregivers who are experienced, dependable, and committed to their clients. Visit our website to learn more about us, or you can call us at 1800-418-8576 for more information.