Could My Elderly Loved One Be Struggling with Anxiety?

Everyone feels anxious or nervous from time to time. This is normal especially if one is experiencing stress. Illness, new social situations, and dangerous events can all lead to anxiety. For example, being diagnosed with a chronic disease, moving into an assisted living community in Florida or experiencing a house fire could trigger some anxiety.

However, if an individual feels anxious often and the feeling is so overwhelming that it affects their relationships and daily functioning, they may have an illness. Anxiety is common among older people, but it often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

Some don’t recognize their symptoms and even when they do, they may not share their feelings with their doctors. Others have been dealing with some form of anxiety for so long that they think their feelings as normal. Anxiety may also be masked by other medical conditions or prescription drug use.

Whatever the reason the condition goes undiagnosed, untreated anxiety can result in poor physical health, cognitive impairment, disability, and an overall poor quality of life. Whether your loved one lives with you or in an assisted living community in Florida, you should know some of the signs of anxiety.

Common Types of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders result in feelings of excessive worry, fear, dread, and apprehension. The most common disorders include:

  • Specific phobias. A specific phobia is an irrational, intense fear of a thing, place, or event that poses little to no threat. For example, many people fear heights, spiders, flying, and closed-in spaces. Elderly people tend to have specific phobias of death, dental procedures, and tragedy befalling their family.
  • Social anxiety disorder. This is when an individual feels extremely self-conscious or anxious in normal social situations. Some older people fear that they will embarrass themselves by forgetting people’s names. Others believe people will judge them because of the way they look due to illness.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder. People with this disorder are constantly worried even if there’s nothing to cause it. They may be particularly concerned about money, family problems, or their health.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can occur after an event or series of events that involved either physical harm or the threat of harm. Some older people relive traumas from decades before after experiencing a new disability or encountering a specific trigger.

Dealing with Anxiety Disorders

Several things can contribute to an anxiety disorder. These include extreme stress and trauma, grief, medication, and dementia. Many of the changes that accompany aging can contribute to anxiety such as memory problems, poor health, increased dependency, and loneliness.

If you think your loved one may be suffering from anxiety, you should discuss it with them and encourage them to talk to their primary care physician. If the physician believes they have an anxiety disorder, they will refer them to a mental health professional.

Let Courtyard Gardens Help You to Care for Your Loved One

If your senior parent or relative is dealing with anxiety, living alone may exacerbate their condition. At Courtyard Gardens they’ll have an opportunity to interact with others and participate in engaging activities. They will also get help with managing everyday tasks and taking their medication. Contact us today to learn more about the best assisted living facility in Florida.