Diagnosis and treatment should start with the primary care physician. Many older people feel more comfortable talking to a doctor with whom they already have a relationship. If they trust their primary care physician, chances are greater that they will accept treatment or a referral to a mental health professional.
Success in treating anxiety in an older adult depends on a partnership between the patient, the family, and the doctor. Everyone must agree on the nature of the problem and make a commitment to stick with treatment.
Doctors often prescribe lower doses of medication for older adults than they would for younger adults as changes in aging bodies can affect drug absorption and action. Family members may need make sure that drug side effects and other issues encountered during treatment are managed promptly.
Also be sure to ask about psychotherapy, which is seldom offered to older adults but can be very effective, either by itself or with a medication regimen. Learn more about treatment.