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How to Manage Anxiety in Seniors

a senior woman sits exhausted and defeated and might be showing signs of anxiety in seniors

An often overlooked issue among senior adults is the struggle with anxiety. When dealing with seniors and anxiety, it’s essential that you know how to manage their symptoms. Constant emotional distress can have a severe impact on the mental and physical health of an older adult. Lifestyle programs like fitness classes and art courses can ease anxiety symptoms. Contact Buckner Retirement Services at 855.931.5688 to learn more about anxiety in seniors.

Seniors and Anxiety

Anxiety and other mental health concerns are incredibly common in senior adults, but many people don’t know why this occurs. Individuals who were free of stress throughout their life may find themselves struggling with intense emotions and increased anxiety as they get older.

What causes this anxiety in seniors? The following are thought to be contributing factors when it comes to anxiety disorders in seniors:

  • Cognitive concerns (Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, etc.)
  • Isolation from friends and family members
  • Declining physical health
  • Traumatic memories from previous years
  • Increased mortality among peers

Every person is unique and can have various things contributing to their anxiety. Determining what has led to anxiety in your loved one can help you figure out the best ways to manage their symptoms.

Tips for Managing Anxiety Symptoms in Seniors

Do you have a parent or another senior in your life who suffers from anxiety? When someone you care about is struggling with anxiety, there are several things you can do to address their concerns. Anxiety disorders in seniors may be eased with the following tips.

Practice Empathy and Active Listening

The first step in managing anxiety symptoms in a senior adult is showing empathy. You must actively listen to their concerns and show that you’re truly hearing them. Many people who struggle with anxiety feel that no one understands or takes them seriously. Show your senior loved one that you genuinely care and want to ease their worries.

Acknowledge Their Fears

When addressing anyone with anxiety, you do not want to dismiss their fears. Acting like their worries are insignificant, or nothing to worry about will only make them feel worse. If the senior in your life has specific concerns, don’t use language that can minimize or trivialize their feelings. Acknowledge and accept their fears, regardless of the magnitude.

Encourage Activities and Hobbies

A great way to manage anxiety in seniors is by simply keeping them busy. Encourage them to try new activities or keep up with old hobbies. This can include exercising, arts and crafts, or cooking. One of the best hobbies for someone with anxiety is gardening. Help your parent or loved one start a small garden that they can take care of to ease their anxieties.

Set a Schedule

Many seniors who have anxiety feel a lack of control. This is especially true for older adults who are in assisted living communities. Residents who require continuous care may feel anxiety over needing assistance with daily activities. The best way to navigate this is by setting a schedule. Having a regular schedule for daily care can help ease this lack of control and remind your loved one that their needs will be taken care of.

Revisit Happy Memories

Some seniors experience anxiety over traumatic memories from their younger years. One way to work through this is with therapy to improve their mental health. Another way is by re-visiting positive memories. When you visit your loved one, try bringing photographs or videos from happier times. Avoid anything that could be triggering or associated with bad memories and hard times. Keep things light and positive to remind them of the better times throughout life.

Lifestyle Programs at Buckner Retirement Services

Are you or a senior loved one struggling with anxiety? Buckner Retirement Services provides lifestyle programs for seniors throughout Dallas, TX, and surrounding cities. Our senior living communities offer a wide range of recreational activities to help senior adults manage their anxiety and lead their best lives. To learn more, contact Buckner Retirement Services at 855.931.5688.