How Can You Help an Overly Anxious Aging Adult to Manage Those Feelings?
Anxiety can feel crippling to your aging adult when it strikes. Whether she deals with it on a daily basis or she experiences it only once in a while, it helps to have some tools available to help her manage it.
Try to Find the Cause for the Anxiety.
Sometimes it’s easy to spot the cause of your senior’s anxiety. Perhaps she’s in an uncomfortable environment or she’s had too much stimulation that day. If you’re not sure what the cause is, however, it can be related to her health. Talk with her doctor about helping you sort through potential causes for her anxiety so that you can land on the appropriate treatment.
Reassure Her When She Needs It.
Simple reassurance can work wonders when the cause of anxiety is situational. Let your elderly family member know that she doesn’t have to worry and that everything is okay. These reassurances can work far more often than you think that they will.
Use Touch, if That Helps.
For some aging adults, gentle touch works far better than reassuring words or other solutions. This can be especially helpful in situations that are loud or otherwise overwhelming. Touching your senior’s hand or her arm can help to gain her attention and soothe her at the same time.
Give Her Control Where You Can.
Very often anxiety arises in aging adults because they have very little control anymore in their lives. Depending on your senior’s health, she may have very little control over what happens on any given day. Try finding ways to give your aging adult more control. Her wardrobe, where she eats, and other small decisions may not be as important. Handing those over gives your senior a measure of control.
Recognize When She Needs Her Space.
On occasion, anxiety can spring up because you and your elderly family member are spending too much time with each other. Your anxiety and frustration can feed hers and vice versa. Giving your senior some space isn’t always easy, but it can significantly help. Consider hiring elderly care providers so that you can take time away without feeling even more anxious yourself.
Anxiety doesn’t necessarily just go away, but you can help your senior to learn how to manage it when it crops up for her.