Anxiety is a very common state. But often times, it becomes disabling and disruptive. It is considered a mental disorder, as a result. Older people are at particular risk of suffering from anxiety for many reasons. They suffer from more pain and chronic health issues. They may experience more losses. Elderly individuals can also have depression or dementia. And there are often on multiple medications that intensify these feelings of anxiety. According to research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, every tenth adult between the age of 60 and 80 has an anxiety disorder. If you’re considering the best assisted living facilities in Boynton Beach for your anxious loved one, you probably want to know if they can accommodate their disorder. But first, here is a bit more information about anxiety disorders in elderly people.
Most Common Anxiety Disorders
The most common anxiety disorders among older people include post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder. Acute stress is a reaction to an event perceived by the person as extremely traumatic. Generalized anxiety is a pattern of great worrying over mundane daily events. It can include intense panic attacks or illogical dread. In some instances, it may also cause fear that people experience in certain situations. For instance, this can often happen in social situations. And it can also extend to fear of confined spaces (claustrophobia) and of open spaces (agoraphobia), for example.
Causes of Anxiety in the Elderly
As people age, they begin to feel lonely. Sometimes, they lose a long-term life partner, which contributes to this. Their children may live far away. Their friends may get ill or die. Feelings of can anxiety intensify. They can start to have worrisome thoughts about their own health. They may worry about their fate and have feelings of loneliness. These fears are pretty typical in people in their golden years. They lead to pessimism. Normal mishaps are seen as devastating occurrences. They exaggerate simple setbacks and cause a great deal of pain.
In addition, symptoms of anxiety can include headaches, tight muscles, and back pain. Often times, a physician and senior citizen community staff cannot detect a biological cause for the pain. Anxious people can feel restless. They may scare easily. They can even find themselves feeling on edge. Chronic anxiety leads to feelings of exhaustion, fatigue, and sleeplessness. The insomnia exacerbates the fatigue.
People with a panic disorder will experience panic attacks over harmless events. Things like being in a new setting or an unfamiliar situation can cause an attack. For instance, this can occur even though it’s objectively safe. However, your loved one might have an attack when they move to an assisted living community. Calming and gentle staff know special techniques to help soothe them. This can include helping them relax by taking slow breaths. They may also be taken to a quiet, safe place where they can lie down or sit calmly.
To prevent future attacks, learning relaxation techniques through yoga, or meditation can be helpful. All elderly anxiety disorders respond well to a combination of medication and psychotherapy. A physician can prescribe a drug if needed. For example, studies have indicated that prescription drugs can help with anxiety. This, however, should be done along with meeting with a therapist or a skilled counselor. Assisted living facilities in Boynton Beach employ such professionals and they can help your family member cope with anxiety.