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Looking At Anxiety Attacks in the Elderly

Updated on April 9, 2018

Anxiety attacks or also known as panic attacks may involve certain episodes of fear and worry. These attacks may happen all of a sudden and often does not involve any warning. There is a known trigger that may start the anxiety attack—it may be getting stuck in an elevator, or thinking about what would happen if one will speak in public. These may be normal, but there are certain triggers that may cause long-term worry, and that is the problem.

Anxiety attacks may reach its peak effect within 10 minutes and last for about 30 minutes. The feeling, in such short period of time, may be terrifying and some may feel they are about to die or to lose control of their senses. The symptoms of anxiety in some people may be so horrific there are some cases people think they are about to have a heart attack. When an attack is over, the next reason to panic is when you will get another one. This may not be good to happen on a public place, or in a place where one can’t easily get out or escape such as a crowded mall or a crowded park.

Addressing the Anxiety Disorders

Health care experts providing the services to elderly may be able to help and provide the right intervention that may end up helping those with anxiety disorders. It is important and totally critical for people to provide the right kind of treatment, especially getting help from a geriatric health professional.

There are plenty of helpful interventions that may come in the form of support, guidance and in some cases—the use of psychiatric medications.

Hire a caregiver.

One way of dealing with old-age anxiety is to get care from a person, which may address the key issues of isolation and inactivity especially in older adults. This may come in the form of a family member, a worker, a lover, or clergy and other possible people, which can be helpful.

Check for any malfunctions in a senior’s life.

The difference about normal worries and anxiety disorders is the way people function. Patients with anxiety disorders may suffer from a period of malfunction in their daily lives. Serious anxiety disorders will be interfering with daily functions. On the other hand, mild anxiety will not be obvious until a trained medical professional will be able to get more information. It is best for doctors to be more concern about aspects of life that is not functioning normally as it should. Pathological anxiety disorders include pain, inconsistency of fear and the skewed perception of reality in relation to actual reality.

Take notice of his physical symptoms.

Older adults may complain of physical symptoms likely to be caused by anxiety disorders. It is possible some symptoms overlap with existing medical conditions. Asking about shortness of breath, chest pain and other symptoms is vital to determine whether such is caused by anxiety or some other physical malady.

Check for the presence of eating problems.

Older adults may end up eating too much. This is critical since it may cause other health problems such as hypertension, high blood sugar levels and obesity. It is also possible such people will skip meals to lose weight in a wrong manner.

Difficulty sleeping can make it all worse.

Lack of sleep can be bad for older seniors since they want to avoid bad dreams. Elderly people who are suffering from anxiety are likely to lose sleep because they have exaggerated problems, ruining the sleep in the process.

Losing enthusiasm about life.

People who may have anxiety find activities to be less interesting, and gravitate towards thinking about worries.

Ask help from an expert.

It is important for health professionals to intervene in ways they can be helpful in treating the elderly with their anxiety. The treatment must be provided, or if possible, in consultation with a geriatric anxiety specialist. The interventions may include guidance, some medicines and psychotherapy.

Look for the right treatment.

It is critical to note such anxiety disorder can be remedied. Older adults can cope well and be able to overcome anxiety disorders. The key here is to identify the anxiety disorders, and how to provide the right treatments. Older adults need not to suffer with anxiety problems endlessly. There should be a proactive measure to offer support and treatment to those who need to get treatment.

Anxiety can be a serious thing especially for seniors. One of the things that may deemed necessary is family or friend support. It is critical to help older adults to address the reasons for their anxiety especially in matters concerning health, finances and other matters such as being a burden to the family. Allaying their fears and worries can make a huge difference. It is also important to emphasize the spiritual experiences especially for elderly who may have a special connection with a deity or some Supreme Being. This may help some elderly cope well with the worries in life. As such, they need to get the right advice from priests, ministers, imam or a pastor.

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