Worried about an aging parent or relative? Talking to older parents or loved ones about changes in their lives is one of the best ways to find out about problems.
Ask about any changes you notice in the following areas:
- Daily routines and activities. Is Grandma refusing to do routine activities or avoiding social situations she once enjoyed?
- Worries. Does Dad seem to have more worries than before? If so, do those worries seem out of proportion to reality (such as a real threat to his safety)?
- Medication. Has Mom recently started taking another medicine? Is she using more of a particular medication than before? Side effects, such as breathing problems, irregular heartbeat, or tremors, can simulate symptoms of anxiety. An increased use of medication or alcohol may indicate an attempt to self-medicate.
- Because some medications may worsen symptoms, it's always best to discuss them with a doctor.
- Overall mood. Depression and anxiety often occur together. Tearfulness, apathy, and a loss of interest in formerly enjoyable activities are possible signs of depression.
Seek treatment for anxiety symptoms; cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medications are effective.
Here are tips to help a family member manage anxiety and stress.