7 Signs of Senior Anxiety and Restorative Strategies

June 3, 2021

According to the CDC, about 20 percent of those older than 55 experience some type of mental health issue. These include anxiety, cognitive impairment, depression, and other mood disorders.

Recognizing these signs is important when you are trying to help an older loved one.

Do you want to learn more about senior anxiety, anxiety symptoms and restorative practices, and more? Keep reading these 7 signs of senior anxiety. 

1. Confusion or Forgetfulness

One of the most common symptoms for seniors and anxiety is confusion or forgetfulness. Whether they have a hard time concentrating or if they often get confused about simple tasks, this may be a symptom of their anxiety. 

2. Irritability

Another common symptom of anxiety is irritability. Because anxiety often comes with high arousal and extreme worrying, it can also make seniors feel irritable and upset. This is especially true when they are in the midst of anxiety attacks. 

3. Avoidance of Anxiety Triggers

One way you can identify anxiety in older adults is if they avoid people, places, or things that trigger their anxiety. For example, older adults may not want to go to the doctor if they get anxious in hospitals or when receiving treatment. They may avoid family members that make them feel anxious or those who are trying to force them into decisions. 

4. Weight Loss

If you notice that your older friend or relative has been losing weight, this is often a symptom of anxiety. Anxiety can cause changes in their appetite or eating habits, which is not good for their health. If you notice sudden or extreme weight loss in older adults, it may be time to get professional help.

5. Problems Sleeping

Many adults who experience anxiety also have problems sleeping. This doesn’t only include problems falling asleep, but it can also include sleeping too much or not enough. Insomnia is a common symptom of anxiety and can lead to restless sleep and even difficulty staying or falling asleep.

6. Obsessive Thoughts and Compulsive Behavior

Obsessive thoughts and other compulsive behavior may be a symptom of anxiety as well. While not all older adults who experience anxiety also have OCD, it is common for them to repeatedly ask the same questions, touch things, and even perform rituals. 

7. Withdrawal and Isolation

Finally, the last common symptom of anxiety in seniors is withdrawal and isolation. This happens often with social withdrawal.

If older adults are nervous, they may isolate themselves at events or avoid talking to others. Their anxiety makes them withdraw from others, even their loved ones. 

Triggers for Anxiety in Seniors

There are many common triggers for seniors that may cause or worsen their symptoms of anxiety.

One of the most common triggers is the loss of their independence. When seniors are used to living alone and meeting all of their own needs, it can be difficult for them to accept outside help from others. When they lose independence, it is a common trigger of anxiety. 

Other causes of anxiety include death, grief, and loss. These are common in older adults as they near the end of their life. When they have to start doing end-of-life planning, it can make them anxious for the future and the unknown.

It is also difficult for them to see close friends and loved ones pass as well. 

Many older people also have changes in their sensory abilities. Diminishing vision, taste, and even smell may cause anxiety. When they can no longer do the things they used to be able to do, it can put a lot of stress on older citizens. 

The same is true for those seniors who experience chronic pain, immobility, and other health problems. Seeing your own health deteriorate is something that can make you feel stressed and unable to cope.

Finally, another common trigger of anxiety is isolation. This is something that was a huge problem throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Because seniors were trapped at home with no one able to visit, it increased struggles with mental health. 

This was true for everyone coping with the pandemic, but it was very common with older adults. 

Treatments for Anxiety

There are many ways you can help ease the symptoms of anxiety in older adults. One of the best ways is to prevent anxiety. This is much easier to do if you know what triggers anxious feelings in your loved one.

By preventing these triggers, you can curb the anxious feelings that accompany them. 

If you have an older loved one who is currently struggling with anxiety, there are other ways you can help. First, you want to be calm and reassuring as you help them. You can acknowledge their worries and suggest solutions that might help them overcome the issues. 

For example, if your loved one is worried about finances, you can meet with a professional that can help them plan out their expenses for their remaining years. 

Another thing you can do is help them adopt techniques to manage their stress. There are many things that can help lessen the symptoms of anxiety in seniors. This includes mediation, deep breathing, and prayer for those who are more religious. 

Finally, you can help find them professional care. Whether this is a live-in nurse or companion care, older adults can benefit from home care. 

While these treatments may not completely get rid of their anxiety and other symptoms, they can help them learn to manage it without too much stress. 

Find Professional Care and Assistance With Senior Anxiety Today! 

If you have noticed these signs of senior anxiety in an older friend or loved one, you can find help! By recognizing the signs and finding ways to treat them, you can help your loved ones improve their mental health.

If you are looking for professional care and assistance, Just Like Family Homecare can help! We are a referral service that can help you find the best caregivers for your loved ones. Contact our team today to learn more about our services or to set up a meeting with our staff. 

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How to prevent seniors from falling

August 8, 2018

As a home health care company with over 12 years of experience in Naples and Southwest Florida, we have seen many incidents were seniors fall due to dangerous conditions or lack of balance. It is one of the biggest threats to senior’s health. In old age, a seniors ability to keep balanced decreases.

To avoid those incidents we have some tips to improve balance:

 

Vibration platforms

Vibration platforms are exercise machines with a vibrating plate that the user stands, sits, or lies on while performing specific movements. Due to the consistent vibration, the body naturally tries to stay in balance which causes multiple muscle contractions especially in the core and along the vertebral column. Most of those machines have stabilizing bars which allow seniors to train their balance while holding on to the machine. This secure position reduces the chance of falling off the platform. This exercising method is very popular among seniors due to the low impact on joints, core strengthening and the improvement in balance which helps reduce the risk of falling and Osteoporosis. It is highly recommended to have a certified trainer showcase the different exercises and have a physician’s approval to do such a workout.

 

Yoga

This training method combines different postures and movements in order to keep the body in balance. Similar to the previous method, Yoga training movements can have a very low impact on joints that are preferred by seniors. Depending on the range of movement, seniors will be guided through different poses that combine stretching and static strengthening exercises with the goal of increased balance and core strength. Like with any other physical training, it is recommended to consult a physician and have a certified trainer/Yogi guide one through a routine.

 

Eliminate risks in your household

Many risks of falling can be avoided by eliminating obstacles in the home. Make sure that living areas are not cluttered with objects that might cause seniors to trip or stumble.

Clean and clear paths to any part of a living area are important. Make sure that lighting is appropriate in all rooms and that the switches are easy to reach and use backlights so they can easily be seen. Slippery surfaces like in bathtubs should have non-slip stickers or a matt if possible. Wearing non-skid, rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes, or lace-up shoes with non-skid soles can also tremendously decrease the chance of falling. Utilizing assistive devices like a cane or walker and having them on hand is definitely helpful as well.

 

Consistent check-ups

Make sure to visit a physician regularly to check for visual, hearing and balance impairment. Any decrease in audiovisual senses can increase the threat of falling tremendously. Making sure that seniors have the right glasses or hearing aid is essential.

 

Hire a care provider to assist with daily activities

Having someone to look out for seniors can greatly reduce the risk of injury due to falling. Our licensed, knowledgeable caregivers will help make sure seniors are safe in their own home and around town. Caregivers can help ease the stress of day to day activities like grocery shopping, bathing, housekeeping and meal preparation that seniors may find difficult if they have balance or stability issues.

 

 

Just Like Family is a home health care provider in Naples always focused on the well-being of clients, trying to help them stay independent in their own home.

Disclaimer: The blog entry above has been created utilizing different online sources. The blog entry has not been verified by a doctor. Please note that conducting the above-mentioned activities is at the individual’s own risk and responsibility. Please always consult a doctor before exercising or doing any physical activity, especially to avoid injuries or harm due to unknown preconditions. Just Like Family is not responsible for any injuries while conducting the above activities.

 

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Well-being improvement activities for elderly

July 3, 2018

Yoga:

Yoga is an activity with low impact on the joints which increases flexibility, stability, balance and core strength for people of all ages. For elderly people who often have difficulties maintaining balance, this is especially important as it can help prevent falls or other accidents.

Here is an overview of what regular yoga practice (2-3 times/week) can potentially do for senior citizens:

  • Increase joint strength and mobility
  • Improve stability and balance
  • Reduce chances of falling down
  • Improve the cardiovascular system
  • Improve sleep
  • Lower cholesterol as well as blood pressure
  • Improve well-being and mood
  • Aide recovery after surgery
  • Possibly reduction of depression and anxiety

Yoga can be practiced by everyone and depending on your ability you will start accordingly with certain exercises. As with any new exercise routine, it is essential to train in a facility with certified instructors and make sure to consult with your doctor before starting.

 

Walking:

A simple, cheap and effective activity which can be conducted anywhere. It can help to maintain mobility and independence for senior citizens. Non-active or sedentary lifestyle can cause muscle loss and can lower the aerobic capacity. Mark Fenton, editor of the Boston-based Walking Magazine mentioned on “American Trails” that, “The elderly have some special physical concerns that can be helped with regular exercise like walking.” He also explains that regular walking/exercising can improve mental health through a higher sense of self-esteem and better sense of purpose. Other health benefits can include:

  • Decreased chance of dying from heart disease
  • Decreased risk of developing colon cancer
  • Cardiovascular improvement
  • Decreased chance of developing diabetes
  • Lower risk of developing hypertension
  • Increased flexibility, balance and muscle strength, all of which reduce the risk of falls
  • Reducing risk of obesity

 

Meditation:

Mindfulness including meditation has become a tool many people use to improve their mental health and brain capacity. Seniors, specifically, have shown improvement. Apps like Calm.com can help to with an easy introduction to this ancient practice. Benefits of meditation can include:

  • Helps memory
  • Activates the endorphin-producing areas of the brain
  • Sharpens and focuses the mind
  • Reduces stress

Just Like Family is a home health care provider in Naples always focused on the well-being of clients, trying to help them stay independent in their own home. Our caregivers can assist in conducting activities like walking, and yoga to help you improve your health. Please note that any activities you or your loved ones participate in should only be started after consulting a doctor.

 

Disclaimer: The blog entry above has been created utilizing different online sources. The blog entry has not been verified by a doctor. Please note that conducting the above-mentioned activities is at the individual’s own risk and responsibility. Please always consult a doctor before exercising or doing any physical activity, especially to avoid injuries or harm due to unknown preconditions. Just Like Family is not responsible for any injuries while conducting the above activities.

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Home Health Care, Assisted Living Facility Comparison

April 30, 2018

Less Stress
The older we get, generally less flexible we are. Elderly can have a hard time to adjust to a new environment, new routines and interacting with strangers. Dealing with multiple new staff members in the facility can be uncomfortable. Allowing seniors to live in their home and stay in a comfortable environment offers a much easier way to transition them to an assisted living lifestyle.

Lower Costs
Depending on the needs of the individual and the facility, living full time in an assisted living facility can be more expensive than having a home care provider visit. Paired with the comfort of living at home, a home care provider can be a much better option.

Safety
In their own home, elderly are used to their surroundings and have little trouble finding their way around. In cases where seniors have the early stages of dementia, a new environment can pose unique risks such as tripping, falling, panic or confusion.

Higher Self Esteem
Still being able to live in their own house and maintain a certain independence gives elderly people a feeling of dignity and self-esteem without becoming a burden for their kids.

Just Like Family Home Care
To discuss you or your loved one’s options, please don’t hesitate to call Just Like Family Home Care, offering deeply caring service to Collier and Lee County, Florida.

We help maintain our client’s lifestyle in the comfort of their home, hospital or facility. Our goal is to ensure quality and complete satisfaction for every person we are entrusted to serve.

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