Does it seem like your elderly loved one gets anxious a lot? If so, they could have any one of the many anxiety disorders commonly found in senior citizens. Before trying to self-diagnose these disorders in your elderly loved one, it is important to remember they should be assessed by their doctor. In some instances, someone may need certain medical treatments for their disorder. This may be the case for your elderly loved one, as well.
Those who are diagnosed with a panic disorder often feel extremely stressed and full of fear. This causes them to have a panic attack. There are many things that can trigger a panic attack such as medical appointments, hearing a certain sound, the unknown, or something completely random. Some people will only have an occasional attack, while others will have them often. If your elderly loved one has 4 or more of these attacks, they could have a chronic panic disorder. The attacks would generally consist of nausea, dizziness, weakness, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, shaking, and/or sweating.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Does it seem like your elderly loved one is only calm while around you, other family members, and their senior care providers? When they get into social situations, do they tend to become anxious? If this is the case, they could have a social anxiety disorder. Usually, with this disorder, someone will become extremely worried and stressed when faced with social situations. Sometimes, even thinking about socializing can make them anxious. If you notice this in your elderly loved one, have them get assessed by their doctor. Therapy and other treatments may be prescribed to manage this disorder.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
If an elderly loved one has a generalized anxiety disorder, they may constantly be worrying. Anything from major life events to local news to random triggers can make them anxious. Maybe your elderly loved one gets anxious when riding in a vehicle or for what seems like no reason at all. Being on high alert all the time can cause your loved one to have headaches, nausea, hot flashes, fatigue, and even muscle aches.
In some cases, someone may have more than one of these disorders. Again, it is important that you have your elderly loved one assessed by their doctor, instead of trying to self-diagnose. If you recognize any of these symptoms in your elderly loved one, schedule them an appointment with their doctor.