The changes people face as they age can lead to anxiety. Though this anxiousness help people determine the presence of a potential threat, if they remain unchecked and untreated, they will affect more than just a person’s mood. Excessive anxiety can dramatically impact a person’s life. Its consequences will prevent the possibility of enjoying the remaining years of life to the fullest.

There are several sources of anxiety in the elderly. Some of them are listed below, together with some helpful tips on how to help these seniors cope with anxiety.

1. Dying

Death is common with age. And though everyone will come to this point, the idea of dying, losing or being left behind by loved ones and friends bring on the feelings of fear and anxiety to an elderly. The loss of a spouse or partner brings pain and sadness, as well. With this bereavement, anxiety may take root when all hope and joy in life is lost.

Tip #1: To help these elderly cope with the loss, loved ones must allow them to release their sorrows and grief. Comforting them and making them feel that they are loved and that they still have you will give them a continuing sense hope and purpose.

2. Physical Sickness

When people get old, they lose their hair, they get crow’s feet, and they develop age spots – such depressing and anxiety-causing signs. But this is not all of it. The aging process is not just on the outside. It is on the inside as well. Their brain cells shrink. Their bones become porous. Their connective tissues stiffen. Their blood vessels lose their elasticity.

Because of these external and internal changes in their body brought on by aging, people are likely to develop several medical problems and difficulties when they reach their golden years. The strain put on by physical illness or chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis, to their already failing body adds to the anxiety that they may be feeling. The state of being old and sick amplifies the fears that their body may never last for long.

Tip #2: Caregivers must ensure that the seniors are eating a well-balanced diet to help boost their immune system. It is an effective way to manage anxiety and avoid illnesses from threatening the body,

3. Increase in the Use of Prescription Medications

With the numerous diseases and disorders that ail the elderly, their prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs also pile up. There are pills for controlling the blood pressure, pills for reducing heart palpitations and pills to prevent clots. There are also pills for headaches, syrups for coughs, and pills for depression. With all these drugs taken inside the body, the combination and interaction of these chemicals can somehow mimic or increase the symptoms of anxiety.

Although some elderly might want to discontinue some of their medications due to the adverse effects, stopping is sometimes not an option. Hence, they try to live with the anxiety symptoms while taking additional anti-anxiety tablets to counter the negative symptoms.

Tip #3: Caregivers must supervise their ward’s drug regimen. Their forgetfulness often makes them miss their dose.

4. Abandonment

With the kids all grown up and busy with their lives, the elderly cannot help but feel so alone and isolated. Gone were the days of chaos, arguments, and laughter brought on by crying infants, messy toddlers, and rebellious teenagers. The house feels so empty that the silence is deafening. Moreover, the failure of children to remember their elderly parents on very important moments (birthdays, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc.) appends to their feelings of depression and anxiety.

Tip #4: Loved ones must never forget to call their elderly. Constant communication will make them feel important still.

5. Dependency on others

The failure of the body to function the way it was thirty years ago frustrates and aggravates the elderly’s thinking that they are already indolent. The need to be served, and to be waited on hand and foot worries them. Their sluggishness, illnesses, and sensitivity are something they do not want their children to be loaded with. Being a burden to their children is something they do not want to turn into.

Tip #5: Speaking in a calm voice and showing patience and understanding with the decrease in mobility or dependency of these elders will be beneficial to them.

6. Retirement

The idea of not coming to work ever or settling down at home doing nothing often terrifies the elderly. Missing the thrill off the job, the company of co-workers and the satisfaction of having a career brings sadness and anxieties to the surface.

Tip #6: To keep these elders far from feeling bored, keep them busy by encouraging them to learn crafts, do fishing, or anything they’re interested in. Developing a hobby serves as a good form of distraction or a treatment for anxiety.

Anxieties in the elderly can still be treated with the right support from family members. Love, patient, respect, and understanding are the most important things one can give.

Ryan Rivera shares his journey with anxiety through his website, www.calmclinic.com. Articles include information on management programs, including alternative and natural treatment methods.