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How to Manage Chronic Anxiety in Older Adults

It’s completely normal to feel anxious sometimes. However, when anxiety is frequent or interferes with everyday life, it may be because of an anxiety disorder. About 18 percent of adults suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder. In older adults, the most common kind of anxiety is generalized anxiety disorder, which is a condition where the senior worries constantly and about many different things.

Senior Care Novato CA - How to Manage Chronic Anxiety in Older Adults

Senior Care Novato CA – How to Manage Chronic Anxiety in Older Adults

If your aging relative suffers from anxiety, they should see a doctor because treatments are available. In addition to the treatments recommended by the doctor, there are additional things that can be done at home to help manage chronic anxiety, such as the suggestions that appear below.

Stay Connected

Older adults with anxiety may be tempted to isolate themselves from others. However, that can make anxiety worse. Encourage the senior to spend time with family and friends. Go on outings to places they enjoy, like the library, museums, or movie theaters. They might also consider volunteering at a local organization or joining a club.

Getting out of the house can be difficult for older adults who cannot drive because of illness or disability. A senior care provider can offer transportation to anywhere in the community the person needs to go, including to restaurants and friends’ houses.

Avoid Anxiety Triggers

Some things can make anxiety worse, such as:

  • Caffeine.
  • Alcohol.
  • Nicotine.
  • Eating too much.
  • Taking some over-the-counter cold medicines.
  • Some herbal supplements.

To identify triggers for your aging relative’s anxiety, pay attention to what they eat and what was going on before they became anxious. Keep track of symptoms in a journal, as well as what they eat and drink and activities. This can help you notice patterns and avoid triggers in the future.

Senior care providers can help to log foods and activities as well as anxiety symptoms. They can also help with avoiding known anxiety triggers.

Try Pet Therapy

Interacting with pets can help to calm anxiety. If the older adult has a pet, encourage them to pet it, go for a walk with it, or play with it when they are feeling anxious. The pet’s antics can cheer them up and distract them from their worries.

A senior care provider can assist with caring for your aging relative’s pet, such as by feeding it, taking it outside, and driving the senior and pet to the veterinarian. If the person does not have a pet, there may be organizations in their area that offer pet therapy. Volunteering at the humane society may also help. A senior care provider can drive the older adult to a place where pet therapy is offered or to the humane society to volunteer.

Sources:  https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2019/chronic-anxiety-treatments.html?intcmp=AE-HP-TTN-R2-POS1-REALPOSS-TODAY
https://www.aagponline.org/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=anxiety
https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/seniors-coping-anxiety-and-depression

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Senior Care Services in Novato CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS

In 1988, after working as a clinical nurse in the University Health System at UC San Francisco, Lucy Andrews started understanding home care.

She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.

Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.

Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.

Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.

She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.

Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).

She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.

Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.