Anxiety for both seniors and those who care for them is a very real and difficult challenge many people face on a daily basis. It comes as a result of so many different forces that impact daily life. It is critical that caregivers involved in the life of seniors help them successfully face and deal with these issues that cause anxiety, as well as managing their own issues.
Major life changes are a primary source of anxiety. Moving residences can be extremely stressful. Although aging in place is preferable, many seniors need at some point to transition to an assisted living facility, a skilled care facility, retirement community or move into the home of a loved one. Although this might provide a safer environment, a move from familiar surroundings into new living arrangements can be frightening or stressful. Caregivers are not immune to this kind of stress. Whether they are a family caregiver or a paid professional, the rigors and stress of daily living needs can be a major stressor as well.
Another issue that brings stress are changing health concerns. Seniors and their caregivers alike are aging every day, and with age comes new health challenges and limitations. Things like failing eyesight, changes in medication and even the loss of a loved one to death can produce tremendous anxiousness. Changes in blood pressure or blood sugar, advancing dementia or other chronic conditions all carry stress as a side effect of those ailments.
Although family is a great source of strength for many, it has the exact opposite effect in other family dynamics. Adult children from the Baby Boomer generation are nicknamed "The Sandwich Generation", because many times they find themselves "sandwiched" between the lives and schedules of their own children and caring for their elderly parents. Seniors can become anxious because they feel like they are being a burden. Caregivers stress because their time, energy and resources are being pulled in multiple directions.
There are so many other stressors on the lives of seniors and their caregivers. Death of friends, worries about the future, financial pressure and even stress related to the pets in their lives can weigh down on seniors as well as their caregivers! With all of the anxiety and stress in the world, what can be done to help?
Here are some basic suggestions for helping with anxiety:
Anxiety is a part of life. There is nothing we can do to avoid it. Together we can face it and diminish it's affect on our lives! If you need the help of a professional caregiver who is both experienced and trained in helping anxious seniors, why not give Visiting Angels a call? We would love to help! If you are a professional caregiver and would love to be a part of our team, assisting us in caring for seniors, we would love to hear from you too!
Visiting Angels of Tulsa
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Page Cole is a leader in home care in Oklahoma. He has published the following resources for Seniors-