Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can help us by alerting us to dangers. However, when normal feelings of nervousness, anxiousness, and fear become excessive and uncontrollable, it might be diagnosed as an anxiety disorder. Even though anxiety disorders are common among people of all ages and are treatable, it has more adverse effects on older adults. Take note of these five things about anxiety.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the most common anxiety disorder found in older adults. It can be diagnosed if an individual has trouble controlling their worries for days on end or has at least three or more of these symptoms:
- Feeling tense, restless, and nervous
- Trouble concentrating on tasks
- Muscle tension
Anxiety’s Correlation with Age
Age does not make you more vulnerable to anxiety. Contrary to myths, research has shown that Generalized Anxiety Disorder is more common in younger people than older people. It is important to keep in mind that it is not normal for your loved one to exhibit symptoms of anxiety. Do not brush it off as a symptom of growing old. Instead, think of stressful life events that have recently occurred to your loved ones that could contribute to their anxiety. Some stressful life events could include recent losses of close family members or friends, having a chronic illness, physical limitations in daily activities, or side effects of medications.
Many older adults with anxiety disorders are subjected to poor sleeping patterns, ranging from moderate to severe insomnia. Insufficient sleep can lead to irritability or frustration. It can also increase your loved one’s risk of serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. It is important to check up on your loved one from time to time and engage a good cognitive-behavioral therapist if necessary.
Poor Quality of Life
If your loved one is suffering from anxiety disorders, it can lead to poor quality of life. It not only interferes with their daily activities, but also severely affects their mental health. Excessive fear and worrying can cause your loved ones to socially isolate themselves, especially if they have limited mobility.
Retirement communities are a great source of social support for your loved one. TerraBella Little Avenue offers many exclusive senior-specific programs designed to provide residents with active and low-stress lifestyles. Participating in our programs can help distract your loved ones from stressful thoughts and improve their mood. It can also improve their quality of life while making new friends in our close knit community.
Avoid Asking for Help
Older adults are usually more hesitant to bring up their anxiety disorder symptoms to family members or seek mental health services. It is important that resources and mental health awareness are brought to the attention of your loved ones, so they would feel safe and empowered to ask for professional help if they feel that they need it.
Retirement Community at TerraBella Little Avenue
TerraBella Little Avenue puts superior care, stylish amenities, lifestyle programs, and personalized services at the heart of our retirement community. We offer cozy apartment homes and suites, chef-prepared meals, 24-hour care, as well as daily social events and activities to help our residents lead a worry-free lifestyle.
To find out more, visit our website or contact us at 704-448-5760.