Dan Easton

/Dan Easton

About Dan Easton

Director of Social Media - Senior Care Central, LLC

Four Ways to Help Seniors Manage Anxiety

Anxiety is a serious issue for older adults. Between three and fourteen percent of seniors experience symptoms that meet the criteria for diagnosable disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Even though they don’t have a diagnosable disorder, another 27 percent also experience symptoms of anxiety on a regular basis that have a significant impact on their day-to-day functioning.

If you have a parent or loved who may be struggling with anxiety, keep these four tips in mind to help them manage symptoms in a healthy way.

1. Recognize the Signs
The first step to helping a loved one manage anxiety is being able to identify their symptoms. Common signs of anxiety disorders include:

• Excessive fear or worry
• Refusing to do activities they used to enjoy
• Being obsessed with a routine
• Avoiding social interactions
• Sleep troubles
• Muscle aches and tension
• Shakiness or weakness
• Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs

2. Let Them Know You’re There for Them
Many seniors are hesitant to talk about their struggles because they don’t want to be a burden. If you think your parent or a loved one is dealing with anxiety, it’s important for them to know that you’re there for them and aren’t judging them.

3. Prevent Falls
As they age, seniors typically struggle with impaired balance, which can cause a lot of anxiety and make them worry about falling and getting hurt.

One way to show the senior in your life that you support them is to take steps to prevent falls and help them feel safe in their homes. Some ways you can do this include:

• Installing grab bars in the bathroom
• Removing loose rugs and other slip hazards
• Rearranging cupboards and cabinets so items are within easy reach
• Investing in a medical alert system

4. Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help
You should also encourage your parent or loved one to work with a professional.

Make an appointment with their doctor and let them know what you’ve noticed. You may also want to schedule an appointment with a therapist or hire a home care aide to come in and check on them a few times a week.

There are lots of things you can do to help a parent or loved one manage their anxiety in a healthy way. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with these four tips.

By | 2018-04-24T15:06:56+00:00 April 24th, 2018|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Four Ways to Help Seniors Manage Anxiety

Guest Blog:Tips For Moving Senior Citizens

 

Moving from one home to another is seldom easy — in fact, it’s considered one of the most stressful life events people experience. However, the process can be especially tough for senior citizens. Whether you’re an older adult about to leave your long-term home or you’re the child of a senior getting ready to help a parent leave his/her home, here are some important tips to keep in mind:

  • Acknowledge Emotions. Anytime you’re talking about leaving a long-term home, you’re talking about more than changing addresses. Saying goodbye is hard. Instead of ignoring the sadness that accompanies such a move, process it. Remember, it’s normal to feel some sadness, whether you’re moving into an assisted-living facility, in with relatives or simply to a smaller place.
  • Pare Down Possessions. When it comes down to the physical moving process, the less you have to move, the easier the transition. Rather than packing every worldly possession and forcing yourself to organize later, take the time now to downsize. Go through all your furniture, knick-knacks, mementos, gadgets and so on, and determine whether you’ll truly need those items in the new place. Separate everything into “keep,” “give away” and “trash” piles. If you don’t want to hand down or donate certain items, plan a garage sale to get a little extra cash in the process.
  • Hire Professional Movers. Don’t endure unnecessary stress by managing the moving process alone — hire movers. Find a company that specializes in assisting with smooth transitions, and enlist its help to transport furniture and boxes to their intended destinations. If some things are going to a new home and others are going to friends and family, communicate to your moving company which items go where.
  • Pack an Overnight Bag. Set aside a few changes of clothes, important toiletries, towels and sheets to have with you for that first night or few nights in your new home. Instead of rifling through boxes and feeling overwhelmed with all there is to unpack, there will be a little normalcy — even when you’re still getting settled. Other good items to bring are a first-aid kit and flashlight.

Moving as a senior citizen isn’t easy, but it can be a smoother, more pleasant experience with a little planning. Use the tips above to aid your upcoming move.

Chris Crompton is a marketing manager for Transit Systems Inc., a leader in the shipping and freight industry since 1989. Transit Systems offers low rates and professional service on long distance small moves and shipments.

 

 

By | 2018-04-09T19:16:42+00:00 April 10th, 2018|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog:Tips For Moving Senior Citizens

Guest Blog: My Aging Parent Just Isn’t Ready To Move

Lovely Great Grandmother

Guest Blog by Kathryn Watson, Life Coach and an ElderCare Advisor

If I have heard this song and dance once I have heard it a thousand times. In fact it’s the same song my family sang over and over until……

Until the crisis happened.

No one wanted to upset my mother-in law, Pat, especially her two sons. It was easier to pretend everything was okay and to decide to let her decide when the best time to move would be.
The problem with that was Pat had the beginning of dementia and was simply not capable of making a rational decision. Like many others with dementia, Pat was afraid to leave the comfort of the surroundings she had lived in for over 50 years. She knew that in a new place she may have trouble finding her way around and she was frightened.

We just thought she was being stubborn and hard-headed! We constantly tried to rationalize with her, telling her all the pros of moving and the cons of staying in her home. We might as well have been banging our heads against a brick wall!

Then I heard an expert on dementia speak. Wow, was that an eye opener! She said that changes in the brain occur in someone with dementia. These changes often block the part of the brain that is able to rationalize and think logically. The person with dementia is unable to access this part of their brain. I also found out that someone who had a series of TIA’s (or mini-strokes) was particularly vulnerable to vascular dementia that could affect this part of the brain.

Suddenly everything began to make sense! Unfortunately, by the time I had this figured out the crisis happened. A bad fall and a 30 day stay in a skilled nursing for rehab meant Pat no longer had a choice. It was time to move!

What I discovered was that even though there was clearly a good reason for moving her it didn’t matter. She was still upset and angry that we had moved her from her home. We could have moved her before a crisis and she would have been just as angry as she was after. The difference was the stress we put ourselves through, traveling back and forth every few weeks to check on her, managing care help from long distance and then having to pack her house in a hurry while she was in the hospital.

If your aging parent is refusing to move and it is impacting your life, it is time to set boundaries and make the move happen. Yes, she or he will be upset at first but they will get over it. Talk to other families who have moved an aging parent and I bet most of them will tell you the same story. Doing the right thing is not always the easy thing.

Kathryn Watson is the author of Help! My Parents Are Aging and Help! I Can’t Do This Alone. She is a Life Coach and an ElderCare Advisor with a passion for helping families navigate the murky waters of Elder Care. Visit http://www.kathrynwatson.com

By | 2018-03-25T21:22:53+00:00 March 29th, 2018|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: My Aging Parent Just Isn’t Ready To Move