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What is Senior Anxiety?

Edited by Rory Clark

Senior Anxiety: What Is It? Everyone experiences anxiety, but there is a significant difference between worrying about meeting a work deadline or giving a speech in front of an audience and feeling so terrified that you can’t go about your daily activities. An anxiety disorder may be present when a senior adult is afraid to leave their home because of crowds or has extreme or exaggerated thoughts.

Senior Anxiety Symptoms

There are various types of anxiety disorders that one can suffer from.

  • Phobia: An extreme and irrational fear that can be so severe that it is incapacitating. You may notice that your loved one is afraid to leave the house. They may develop a sudden fear of thunderstorms or become fearful of driving a car.
  • Panic Disorder: Panic attacks or a sudden feeling of terror are common symptoms of panic disorder. Some of the symptoms include shortness of breath, fear of dying, chest pains, and dizziness.
  • GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) is a long-term anxiety disorder. Even if there is no reason to believe it, the person always expects the worst to happen. You’ll also notice exaggerated worry about most aspects of their life daily. Headaches, muscle tension, and fatigue are some of the physical symptoms.
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): If an elderly adult in your life has experienced a traumatic event, they may have flashbacks, nightmares and become irritable, easily startled, or even depressed.

Does Senior Anxiety Get Worse as You Get Older?

Some senior adults’ anxiety decreases as they age, but this is not true for everyone. When it comes to stress and the elderly, it can worsen with age. This is frequently due to additional concerns about health, health-related costs, and losing a loved one.

It’s not so much that anxiety attacks in the elderly increase; it’s just that if they’ve had anxiety for a long time, with the added concerns that come with getting older, they may feel they have more to worry about.

Anxiety Treatment for Seniors

If a senior adult in your life is experiencing anxiety, you must address it head-on. Fear not only reduces the quality of life of older adults but can also increase their risk of death.

Medication is one option for treating anxiety in the elderly, but some doctors believe that psychotherapy is a better first option. This is because medications have side effects, and older adults who take more medications are at a higher risk of negative interactions.

Anxiety is a normal part of life, but if you notice your loved one becoming more anxious or no longer participating in daily activities that they used to enjoy, it’s time to consult with their doctor.

Planning for The Future

We answer many questions to give you peace of mind and legal measures that you can take to ensure that The Legacy Elder Law Center will take care of you and your family members. Contact us today.

This article is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have questions about a loved one who is experiencing anxiety. 

About the author

Rory Clark

Rory has more than 30 years’ experience practicing elder law, estate planning, asset protection, Veteran’s affairs, and special needs planning. Through his personal journey, Rory not only understands the complex legal issues involved as a professional but also the intense emotional issues as a caregiver.