Anxiety is an emotional health condition that affects people at every age. However, seniors are prone to experiencing the negative effects of anxiety that has lasted for years. Research indicates there is a correlation between anxiety and dementia. Here are a few ways having excessive anxiety can raise dementia risk.
1. Anxiety Is an Early Symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease
Many early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are often attributed to other causes. For instance, your senior loved one may feel anxious before a social gathering because he or she is afraid of forgetting names or getting lost in a conversation. However, your parent may simply think he or she is nervous about the event itself. As seniors experience more episodes of memory loss, it’s common to feel anxious about what might happen next. An example of this would be a senior who stops cooking due to a fear of forgetting to turn off the stove. Keep an eye out for signs of anxiety that are new or worse than before since these could signify your loved one is in the early stages of dementia.
Ageing in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. North Coast families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our care workers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.
2. Anxious Seniors May Skip Medical Appointments
Seniors often fear going to the doctor, but skipping those important appointments could leave them vulnerable to developing a health condition that is linked to dementia. For example, older adults with uncontrolled diabetes or untreated heart disease are at greater risk for developing dementia symptoms. Make sure your parent still goes to the doctor, even if it makes him or her nervous. If necessary, accompany your loved one to the physician yourself or ask another carer to go.
Ageing adults who need help around the house, transportation to medical appointments and social events, and assistance with exercise can benefit from having an in-home care worker. With the help of Home Care Assistance North Coast, seniors can enjoy greater independence and receive regular mental and social stimulation when relying on a trusted professional who is expertly trained in various aspects of senior care.
3. Social Anxiety May Lead to Isolation
Isolation is a known dementia risk, and you should try to keep your loved one socially engaged. Talking to other people strengthens language and reasoning abilities. Recalling past events or revisiting a conversation that wasn’t finished also strengthens memory. If your loved one has severe social anxiety, work with a physician to develop a treatment strategy. You can also help your parent establish close relationships with one or two people he or she feels comfortable with.
4. Self-Medicating Behaviours for Anxiety Increase the Risk of Dementia
Some seniors with anxiety may be tempted to self-medicate their symptoms with drugs or alcohol. However, the use of these substances further increases the risk of dementia. For instance, chronic alcohol use is linked to the development of plaques in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Help your loved one find healthier methods of managing anxiety. For instance, talking to a counsellor can address anxiety symptoms without engaging in unhealthy behaviours that are linked to dementia.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. North Coast, NSW, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in care worker, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while ageing in place. To hire a professional care worker for your parent, call Home Care Assistance at (02) 6646 3527 today.