3 Things Seniors Worry About (And How You Can Help)

Posted: 1/17/2020 8:00 AM by Interim HealthCare

Anxiety. Worry. Chances are great the seniors you love worry often and about many things.
They won’t let you know that, of course. If the seniors in your life are your parents, the last thing they’d want you to do is worry about their worry!
But anxiety and worry are harmful to everyone, and they are particularly dangerous for seniors. What’s more, anxiety is twice as common in seniors than depression
How harmful is anxiety in seniors? Research shows that significant or constant worry can have a detrimental effect on quality of life for seniors. This is because extreme worry/anxiety can lead to the limiting of daily activities, and can impact the amount and quality of sleep. 
No one wants their loved ones to worry. Here are three things seniors worry about, and how you can help them.

1. Money (the lack of it or running out of it)

Since we’re living longer than ever before, we need enough money to support ourselves during retirement -- that’s often up to 30 years (or longer!). 
With that in mind, it’s understandable that so many seniors worry about having enough money to support their needs and maintain their lifestyles. Pressure to provide for kids and grandkids can provide additional money stress. 
To help alleviate money worries for your senior loved ones, approach them respectively (perhaps you could start by talking about concerns over your own retirement) and then work on a potential budget together.  Add up their Social Security payments, pensions (if applicable), retirement savings and any part-time work income and clearly show how much money is coming in, versus any bills and expenses that may be necessary. Then talk to them about needs, wants and priorities to help them decide on a realistic budget.

2. Death of a spouse or partner

The death of a spouse is one of the most stressful life events. Although illness and age present the reality of loss, it’s still incredibly difficult to handle when it happens.  
Dealing with death can often start with preparation and mindset. Try having tactful, but frank, conversations with your senior loved ones about mortality. One way to start the conversation is to share details about your own planning, such as a will. 
This prompt can lead to your loved one opening up about his or her own fears and plans. If there are no plans, help your loved one get started by talking about his or her preferences and working out the details (consider consulting an attorney for this part).
Having their own plans in place can help your loved ones feel more secure about death and loss. Of course, grief can manifest itself in many ways. So if Mom or Dad is dealing with the death of a spouse or other close friend or family member, talk to a medical professional about therapy (group or individual) or other outlets for dealing with grief. 

3. Declining health

Physical decline is an unfortunate part of the aging process, and can trigger depression and anxiety in once-active seniors. But, we have more control over how well we age than we think. Encourage your senior loved ones to exercise, visit friends, volunteer and more to stave off some of the more restricting physical ailments that can come with age. 
In some instances, home care can provide valuable therapy and services to help Mom or Dad stay active and independent, which can be crucial when battling anxiety and worries. 

Ease worries and ensure quality care for your loved ones.

Home care can provide your senior loved ones with companionship and critical care to help ease worries and maintain independence. To learn more about our senior care offerings, contact the Interim Healthcare location nearest you.