Getting older is a challenging experience and anxiety in elderly people is a common thing. Whether they are in a care home, or at home, anxiety in elderly people is common and does tend to have more of an impact as we get older.
In this article, we will discuss what can cause anxiety in elderly people as well as how we can overcome it. Everyone is different and is affected by anxiety in different ways, but all of the suggestions we discuss in this article can help us in overcoming anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that we all experience at one point or another. It’s the feeling of being nervous, anxious, or scared about something. Everyone experiences anxiety in different ways and to different degrees.
For some people, anxiety can be a short-lived response to a stressful situation, such as public speaking or an upcoming test. For others, anxiety can be more chronic, lasting for weeks or months. However, for some people, anxiety can be so severe that it interferes with their daily lives.
Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness, worry, or fear. It can be mild or severe. We all feel anxious at times, but for some people, it’s a constant and overwhelming feeling. Regardless of our age, we all experience anxiety to differing degrees. There is no single cure for anxiety, however, there are many ways in which we can combat this and overcome it.
Anxiety in Elderly People
As people age, they may experience more anxiety. This is because they may have a greater number of health concerns and may feel less confident in their ability to manage them. Additionally, retirement or the death of a spouse can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can trigger anxiety in elderly people.
Anxiety in the elderly arises as we become more vulnerable and less adept at doing things we could do easily before. This could be because we’re not as physically strong, our memories aren’t as sharp, or we have a hard time understanding new things. We may also worry about how our loved ones will cope after we’re gone.
All these anxiety-inducing changes are normal parts of the ageing process. However, anxiety can become a problem if it starts to interfere with your daily life. If you’re experiencing anxiety, there are several things you can do to reduce it
How Can We Combat Anxiety in Elderly People?
There are many ways to combat anxiety, all of which will have varying impacts on the person experiencing it. There is no cure-all, but there are ways in which we can all reduce the impact of anxiety. What’s important is finding what works for you or your elderly relative. It is important to ensure that solutions make us feel safe, comfortable and confident.
Whilst this might sound rather clichéd, one of the most important steps can be accepting your anxiety. This means acknowledging that anxiety is a part of you, but it doesn’t have to define you. It’s important to remember that anxiety is not a bad thing, per se – it’s simply a feeling that can be managed.
Talk About It
Finally, it’s really important to talk about anxiety. This helps to normalise the feeling and show others that they’re not alone. It also allows us to get feedback and advice from people. Expressing our feelings can help us get to the root of our anxiety and help us to understand why we feel a certain way and how it affects us. Therefore, we can find solutions to anxiety in elderly people.
The next step is identifying your triggers and causes. This might be something as simple as caffeine, or as complicated as a traumatic experience from your past. Once you know what your triggers are, you can begin to manage them. For example, if caffeine is a trigger for you, try to avoid drinking coffee or tea in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Mindfulness & Breathing
One of the most effective ways to control anxiety is through mindfulness and breathing techniques. By focusing on your breath and keeping yourself in the present moment, you can prevent anxiety from taking over. Furthermore, breathing and mindfulness help to activate the body’s relaxation response. We can slow our heart rate, blood pressure and tension, all of which help us to relax and reduce anxiety. There are many different ways to practise mindfulness and breathing, so find one that works for you and stick with it.
Exercising is another great way to combat anxiety. It releases endorphins, which have a calming effect on the body. Exercise can also be a great way to distract yourself from stressful thoughts or situations. Whilst an elderly person may be unable to go for a run, there are still many ways to exercise. Again, what is important is finding what works best for the person in question. Once you find an exercise that is both good for a person’s mental and physical health, you can begin to reduce anxiety in an elderly person.
Food & Nutrition
What we eat can also play a role in anxiety levels. Eating nutritious foods helps to fuel our bodies and keep us healthy, both physically and mentally. On the other hand, eating processed foods or sugary snacks can make anxiety worse. Try to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein in your diet.
Create a Routine
A routine can be really helpful in managing anxiety. Having set times for eating, sleeping and going about your day can help to anchor you and make you feel more in control. It also means that you’re less likely to be thrown off balance by unexpected events.
At Hilgay Care Home, we prioritise our residents’ mental and physical wellbeing. We understand that anxiety in elderly people can be an issue, so we ensure that our bespoke care plans consider the mental health of each resident. This ensures that their experience at our care home is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
If you would like to talk to us about anxiety in elderly people, or enquire about our care home, contact our friendly team today on 01444 244756 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to answer any questions you have and welcome you to take a look around our care home.
Article: Phoenix Marketing