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How to Tell If Your Elderly Loved One Is Anxious 

Keeping your elderly loved ones happy and healthy is a top priority. However, when you think of them, you may realize that the joyful and carefree person you know and love has been replaced by someone who seems closed-off. You might notice they appear increasingly nervous and worried about things they may not have even noticed before. 

If the characteristics described above check off boxes for your elderly loved one, then they may be dealing with an anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, anxiety in older adults is more common than you think, but there are ways you can help them through it. The lawyers at Dalli & Marino know that the well-being of your loved ones is important, so we have provided you with some key indicators to help you tell if your elderly loved one is feeling anxious. 

How Common Is Anxiety in the Elderly?

Affecting 10–20% of the older population, anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders amongst the elderly. Unfortunately, while this disorder is common, it is just as common that it is misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. 

If anxiety in older people goes undiagnosed for too long, it can lead to other health issues. Some of the issues that undiagnosed anxiety can lead to include: 

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Disability
  • Poor physical health
  • Poor quality of life

With anxiety being the most common health problem for women and the second most common for men, it is essential to know what warning signs to look for in your elderly loved one.

What Warning Signs Indicate Anxiety in Seniors?

Whether or not you are the caregiver of an elderly loved one, you should be able to recognize warning signs that may indicate anxiety. Identifying the symptoms of anxiety is crucial to your loved one’s health and well-being. Anxiety on its own is cause for concern, but it can also be a symptom of a bigger issue like dementia. The following are common indicators that your elderly family member may be experiencing anxiety.

Physical Indicators

This warning sign is the easiest to spot. Some common physical signs include:

  • Difficulty eating
  • Weight loss
  • Shaking hands
  • Labored breathing
  • Chest pains
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Headaches

Changes in Behavior

A drastic change in attitude is often a cause for concern. Some of the behavioral characteristics to look out for are:

  • Negative attitude
  • Pessimistic thinking
  • Frequent panic attacks
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Easily distracted
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal

Triggers That Can Cause Anxiety

Certain events, or triggers, can be the cause of an individual experiencing bouts of anxiety. Some of these common triggers are:

  • Loss or grief
  • Change in medications or dosage
  • Recovery from an accident or illness
  • Role reversal or loss of independence
  • Chronic medical condition
  • Financial insecurity

What Can You Do to Help?

If you believe your loved one is experiencing anxiety, the most important thing you can do to help them is to consult with a medical professional to be correctly diagnosed. In addition, getting them in touch with a doctor will help them on the path to recovery through medication or talk therapy. 

Aside from medical help, you can help ease their anxiety by assisting them in making lifestyle changes. Some simple lifestyle changes that can help with anxiety include:

  • Changing their diet and exercise regimen 
  • Getting outside
  • Trying meditative exercise like yoga
  • Being a companion 
  • Assisting them with daily activities
  • Taking them on outings

Anxiety can be a crippling mental disorder, but being there to help your elderly loved one through it can be the difference between recovery or the development of something worse. 

Get Help for Your Elderly Loved One from a New York Trial Attorney

Keeping your elderly loved one safe and happy is at the top of your priority list. After all, they likely spent most of your life caring for you, and now you get to return that favor. Unfortunately, others may not have your loved one’s well-being in mind. Anxiety can result from many things, and one cause may be abuse at their nursing home.

One of New York’s most experienced and successful team of trial attorneys, Dalli & Marino, has extensive experience in nursing home abuse cases. If you find out that your loved one is experiencing abuse at the hands of those you trusted to care for them, contact the lawyers that offer personalized care to each case. For a free case evaluation, contact us here or call (888) 465-8790.

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