Individuals all experience life differently, and growing old is no different. Some grow old gracefully, without significant health issues or worries, while others experience a challenging time as the years go by. But no matter each of our experiences, some concerns seem familiar to humanity as whole. As with all stages of life, no one can understand old age until it is lived. It can have a strong emotional impact on older adults, and they may feel alone, as the family doesn’t necessarily understand what they are going through.
By learning about the most common fears and anxieties elderly seniors experience, you can help your loved ones navigate their emotions. You can reduce their stress and help them find emotional balance by offering insight, empathy, and understanding.
- Engagement and Purpose: One of the most difficult things for seniors to navigate as they grow older is losing their sense of purpose. Modern society tends to marginalize seniors, and they don’t play as integral a role in their families any longer. The recent pandemic was catastrophic for many who couldn’t interact with their friends and loved ones. Many have found it difficult to feel useful and have a sense of belonging and purpose. You can help by facilitating new relationships or activities, teaching them how to call for assistance with driving (Uber) or how to teleconference with their grandchildren.
- Financial Security and Wellness: American adults enjoy longer life expectancies these days, but medical and residential care has also gotten significantly more expensive. Many worry about having enough retirement savings to support them comfortably throughout their lives. Financial concerns loom large for people of all ages, and money problems can cause excessive stress. You can help by initiating a conversation regarding their available cash on hand and savings accounts, as well as the liquidity of any investments. If necessary, arrange a discussion with a financial advisor to set up a budget.
- Mobility Impairment: A senior may have lived in their home for decades, but if they begin to have mobility issues, their place of safety can quickly become an obstacle course. Loss of vision and mobility issues can make it challenging for seniors to safely get around their homes. Older people can also experience dizziness and weakness, and balance can become an issue. Staying safe and mobile are essential priorities for maintaining independence. You can help by minimizing their furniture, clearing their space, securing rugs, and helping them with exercises to maintain strength and balance.
- Activities of Daily Life: Most elderly adults have concerns about some of the more mundane aspects of daily life, such as doing household chores. If you cannot visit because you do not live nearby, you can hire a professional service to prepare meals, do the housecleaning, or help with basic hygiene. Assisted living facilities may be the perfect solution, as they provide the opportunity for independent living with appropriate oversight.
- Caregiving Concerns: Many senior citizens worry about needing more assistance as they grow older, whether for physical reasons or memory-related concerns. They have anxiety about becoming a burden on their family or requiring more care than they can realistically afford to pay for. Worries about having adequate insurance can add to the stress. You can help by discussing options before the need arises, involving them in the ultimate decisions, and listening to their desires.
- Memory Impairment: One of the biggest fears that older adults have in common is of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. While no cure is provided to those with these memory loss conditions, your senior can benefit from proper diet, exercise, and engaging activities that boost brain health.
- Death and Dying: No one lives forever, but approaching the end of one’s life can be scary nonetheless. You can help by having honest conversations about their desires, ensuring their environment is safe and secure, and allowing them to speak openly about their feelings.
At A Banyan Residence, we believe in creating an engaging and fulfilling environment for our residents. If you have concerns about aging and are looking for an assisted living or memory care solution – call today.