Anxiety is common in older adults, and it could disrupt their quality of life. Failing to manage anxiety could cause severe health issues, including depression, joint pain, and heart disease. Continue reading to find tips you can use to help your aging loved one alleviate anxiety.
1. Try Yoga
Fast and shallow breathing are factors that increase anxiety in the elderly. This type of breathing can make the heart beat faster, lead to dizziness, and cause panic attacks. However, practicing yoga can restore balance in breathing patterns and significantly reduce anxiety levels. Taking up yoga can ease physical pain and eliminate anxious thoughts.
Anxiety is one of many components that can contribute to decreased mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same homecare services. Families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.
2. Stop Smoking
Many seniors smoke cigarettes because they believe the tobacco will calm their nerves. The truth is nicotine has a detrimental mood-changing effect on the mind. Smoking can increase the risk of anxiety symptoms or make them worse. Your loved one needs to stop smoking to boost his or her mental health and take a slow approach when quitting to prevent nicotine withdrawal.
3. Limit Alcohol Intake
Excessive drinking can change a senior’s brain activity. If your loved one continues to drink, the result could be alcohol addiction and anxiety disorder. Encourage your loved one to moderate his or her alcohol intake. Instead of drinking beer and liquor, your loved one should opt for a glass of wine, particularly red wine. When seniors stop drinking or choose to drink alcohol in moderation, their brains won’t require extra amounts of the amino acid GABA to function, which can prevent anxiety from setting in.
Seniors who don’t manage their anxiety well could develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves on their own. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Columbia, MD, live-in care professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care are here to help. Our caregivers promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.
4. Get Plenty of Rest
Positive mental health starts with good habits, such as getting adequate sleep. Seniors who toss and turn during the night are at higher risk for experiencing confusion, anger, and fatigue, which can cause anxiety to worsen. Older adults need to get at least eight hours of sleep a night to strengthen their minds and keep calm.
5. Listen to Music
Music is therapeutic for the elderly, and it can serve as a distraction. Instead of focusing on the negatives in life, seniors can listen to music and decrease their anxiety levels significantly. Listening to the sounds of instruments and the voices of favorite artists can control the heart rate and hormone levels, reducing the amount of cortisol and adrenaline released throughout the body, which boosts mood and promotes happiness and relaxation.
6. Eat Healthy Foods
Low blood sugar, dehydration, and harmful chemicals from various foods can cause seniors to experience mood changes. High levels of sugar can also impact the way your loved one feels and acts. To prevent anxiety, your loved one needs to eat healthy foods, especially complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and vegetables. Foods made with artificial flavorings and preservatives can increase anxiety and raise the risk of behavioral problems.
Anxiety can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Columbia, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call today.