Anxiety can diminish quality of life for seniors, and it may also raise the risk for high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, and cardiac arrhythmia. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to alleviate anxiety in your senior loved one.
Offer Healthy Foods
Certain nutritional deficiencies can heighten the risk for depression and anxiety. For example, if your loved one is deficient in vitamin C, magnesium, or vitamin D, he or she may develop insomnia, a significant risk factor for anxiety and other mood disorders. If your loved one is unable to consume enough healthy foods to meet the recommended daily allowances for vitamins and minerals, ask the physician about adding supplements to your loved one’s diet. Once nutritional deficiencies have been corrected, the symptoms of anxiety may resolve as well.
Anxiety is one of many components that can contribute to decreased mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Philadelphia families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Check for Anemia and Hyperthyroidism
Certain medical conditions can cause symptoms that trigger a panic attack or anxiety. For example, anemia can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, and a racing heart, and hyperthyroidism can cause shaking and a pounding-heart sensation. In addition to thyroid hormone medication, the symptoms of hyperthyroidism are often treated with beta blockers. These medications are used in the treatment of high blood pressure, but they also slow down the heart, stop tremors and shaking associated with hyperthyroidism, and they’re even prescribed for panic attacks in certain cases. Once anemia and hyperthyroidism have been recognized and properly treated, the accompanying symptoms should resolve, and anxiety may also fade away.
Seniors who don’t manage their anxiety well could develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves independently. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Philadelphia live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.
Provide Reassurance and Help
As people age, they may be filled with worry over poor health, dwindling finances, loss of independence, and the fear of being alone. Providing reassurance can alleviate anxiety. Kind words of encouragement go a long way toward helping aging adults overcome fear, apprehension, anxiety, and depression. If your loved one lives alone, offer to help with doing household chores, cooking, and shopping, as this may alleviate some of the fear associated with living alone. However, if your loved one still feels anxious despite your reassurance and help, make an appointment with the physician, who may refer your loved one to a mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment.
Exercise is highly effective for alleviating anxiety in seniors. There are exercises for people of all mobility levels, even those who are unable to get out of bed. Exercise promotes the release of brain chemicals known as serotonin and endorphins, which are also referred to as “feel-good” chemicals because they promote calmness, brighten mood, enhance sleep, and reduce the perception of pain. While exercise can help your loved one overcome anxiety and depression, make sure to check with his or her healthcare provider before promoting a new activity regimen.
Anxiety can result in a variety of challenges, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Philadelphia, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call us today at (215) 645-4663 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.