Anxiety at the end of life is something that might surprise you a bit as your elderly family member’s family caregiver, particularly if she’s never been the anxious type. Experiencing severe anxiety for the first time later in life can be really difficult, so it’s vital to come up with a plan.
It’s Normal for Your Senior to Be Anxious about What’s Happening
Anxiety is a normal human reaction. It’s also normal for your aging family member to experience a degree of anxiety about being closer to the end of her life. She may have a lot of questions and concerns about what’s happening, especially if she’s moving to end-of-life care. It’s important for everyone involved to acknowledge that these feelings are happening and they’re normal.
There’s a Lot Going On
Your senior may have a lot of health issues and other concerns that she’s facing all at the same time. This is a situation that is ripe for anxiety and even anxiety attacks. Worrying about what’s happening can exacerbate anxiety in a very big way. It can help a lot if you share what’s going on with your senior and ensure that she has accurate information.
Your Senior May Experience Panic Attacks
When anxiety gets really big, your senior might even have panic attacks. These can involve an elevated heart rate, shallow breathing, and other physical effects. Many people who have experienced severe panic attacks have worried that they were in the midst of a much worse health issue once the panic attack faded. This can be incredibly difficult for your senior and it can zap a lot of her energy. When she’s near the end of her life, that’s all something you want to help her to avoid.
Putting Together a Plan May Be Easier than You Think
Like any other health condition your senior faces, having a plan for managing anxiety is going to be the key to making sure she’s comfortable and happy. End-of-life care providers work with your senior’s doctor and with other care providers to ensure that your elderly family member has what she needs to manage her anxiety properly. This helps her to enjoy the rest of the time that she has with you and with other people she cares about.
Not knowing what’s happening or what will happen can be a horrible feeling for your senior so it’s important to find the solutions that help.