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Caregiver Tips: Helping Your Parent Cope with Anxiety

April 12th, 2016

Caregivers in Stuart FL

Caregivers in Stuart FLApproximately 7 percent of the elderly adult population suffers from anxiety. That is more than twice the number of seniors who suffer from depression. If you are a family caregiver for an elderly adult who is suffering from anxiety, here are a few tips to consider:
• Find out the causes. Talk to your parent about her anxiety. Ask her if she knows what causes the anxiety or what is going on in her life that may contribute to the anxiety. Create a safe space for her to talk with you and let her know that you are there to support her and help her overcome her anxiety. Just knowing that you are there for her and that you recognize and believe what she is going through can make a tremendous difference in her ability to cope.
• Realize that there may not be a recognizable cause. Simply because your parent is feeling anxiety does not mean that she knows why she is feeling this way. Generalized anxiety disorder, much like depression, does not always have a specific cause. It may feel to your parent that these feelings have come out of nowhere. She might also be frustrated and even angry that she is feeling this way because she does not understand it. Explaining this to your parent can help her feel more in control and less overwhelmed by her feelings.
• Track the symptoms. Even if your parent does not readily recognize the source of her feelings of anxiety, it can help to track them. Encourage your parent to start a journal in which she can write about how she is feeling throughout the day. Have her write about what she is going through, when she starts to feel anxious, and what might be going on around her that is triggering these feelings. Because your parent might not always be aware of her anxiety and behaviors, consider starting your own journal as well. Write down when you notice that your parent is feeling anxious or behaving strangely. Keep track of what time of day it is, what she has eaten, and what has happened around the time of the anxiety. Go over these journals with your parent to see if you can identify patterns.
• Team up with the doctor. Anxiety is a mental disorder. This means that if your parent is having a difficult time coping with the anxiety, you should get her doctor involved. Talk to the doctor about what your parent is going through, encourage her to share your journals, and find out recommendations for management and treatment. Just knowing that there is help available can start easing your parent's feelings of anxiety and make her feel stronger. Once you have talked to the doctor, empower her to make the management decisions that are right for her.

Source
http://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/older-adults/symptoms

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/20060522/anxiety-missed-elderly?page=2
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Stuart FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.