sad seniorAnxiety disorders are often missed or difficult to diagnose in elderly patients because they are often mistaken to be a different health issue.
If you suspect that an elderly friend or loved one has an anxiety disorder, here are some symptoms to be on the lookout for:

 

Physical symptoms

A racing heart, shallow breathing, trembling, nausea, sweating, changes in appetite, and insomnia are some of the most common symptoms. Have your loved one check with his doctor to see if these items are being caused by medication or anxiety.

Behavioral symptoms

Anxiety disorders can cause changes in behavior such as refusing to complete daily activities or becoming overly preoccupied with their routine. Your loved one may also avoid social situations, focus excessively on a specific task, or begin to hoard. Self-medicating is also common.

Emotional Symptoms

An elderly adult with anxiety may experience emotional changes such as moodiness, depression, or excessively worrying. He can also feel that the demands of daily living are more than he can cope with.

How to help someone with an anxiety disorder

You may find that you need to try a few different tactics to see what works. Some common approaches that many people find success with include:

  • Encouraging your loved one to seek treatment
  • Talking to your loved one’s primary care physician
  • Taking advantage of senior groups or organizations
  • If your loved one’s health permits, push them to volunteer or find a way to help others in the community.