While some people seem to “grow old gracefully” without too much effort, the fact is that most seniors have at least some concerns about aging. If you have a loved one who is aging and seems a bit out of sorts, it may very well be that they are worried about one of these common anxieties.
By understanding the most common concerns that elderly people face, you can help your loved one to cope with their fears and worries. By assuring them that you understand their struggle and offering some ideas as to how to face their fears, you can go a long way towards helping them feel less stress.
- Purpose and Fulfillment: Our society has gradually “aged out” senior citizens in many ways, but the recent COVID-19 crisis has isolated seniors even more. Many of these individuals have despaired of finding ways to stay meaningfully engaged and feeling useful. Whether teaching them to communicate with grandchildren over video conference, or encouraging them to form relationships with others in their community – you should strive to find ways to keep seniors involved in life and with loved ones.
- Financial Stability: All seniors have been living longer and care has gotten more expensive, many worry about their ability to make their retirement savings last. Your loved one may be worried about financial issues, especially if they were always a bit anxious about finances. Sitting down with them to discuss their available savings, their budget, and any financial products or investment strategies which will help in the short term can help ease their fears.
- Range of Motion and Mobility: A home which was once safe and secure can become an obstacle course or mine field for someone who is aging. Reduced vision and mobility challenges (ie stairs) can make it difficult to navigate the home; while uncertain balance can make everyday objects dangerous. Remaining safe and mobile are top priorities for older adults who wish to maintain a sense of independence, and so helping them to set up their living space to not only protect them but help them to gain strength and confidence.
- Daily Life: The majority of senior citizens have rather mundane concerns about aging. That is, they worry about being able to stay home, even if they may need some basic help with everyday tasks. If you are not available, a home aide may be able to help cook meals, take a shower, or clean the house. Assisted living facilities may also be a practical solution, as they allow for mostly independent living with necessary oversight.
- Full Time Caregiving: Many elderly adults worry about needing more than casual help as they age, whether it be for physical or cognitive reasons. These individuals worry about becoming a burden on their families, or needing more care than they can afford. Additionally, anxiety about navigating the insurance landscape adds to the concerns about aging. Families can help by discussing options with their loved one before the care is needed, and beginning to plan according to their wishes.
- Cognitive Decline: One of the biggest concerns that seniors share regarding aging is a fear of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, you can work with your loved one on proper diet, exercise and mind-engaging activities which may all contribute to brain health.
- Death: We all know we can’t live forever, but approaching one’s end of life can certainly qualify as a stress-inducing event. You can help ease this concern by discussing their wishes, making sure they are in a place where they feel comfortable and safe, and let them speak about their fear or anxiety freely.
At A Banyan Residence, we believe in making your loved one’s life as engaging and fulfilling as possible. If you have questions or concerns about aging and are looking for a Venice area assisted living or memory care solution – give us a call.