The biggest challenge faced by seniors living independently in Canada is a lack of holistic wellness.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety disorders in seniors are estimated to range from 3.6% to 10.2% worldwide.
Even if an older adult is in decent physical health they may still be having difficulties coping with mental and psychological health issues, social isolation, and a decline in their cognitive abilities.
This is why caregivers and family members alike are seeking alternative therapies to help loved ones live a way of life that helps heal the body, mind, and spirit to ensure optimal health.
In this article, we will explore the causes of anxiety disorders in older adults and alternative therapies that can help address senior mental health.
The Causes, Types, & Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders in Seniors
While feeling anxious is natural before an exam, a big competition or event, having that anxious feeling all the time isn’t natural or healthy.
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders can occur as a result of traumatic or stressful events, from the consumption of alcohol, medication, and caffeine, or through other medical or psychiatric problems. One’s family history and genetic predisposition can also be the root cause of an anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
If you or a loved one is constantly fearful or worried to the point where you can’t sleep, socialize, or conduct daily activities there is an underlying anxiety problem that needs to be dealt with.
Anxiety disorder can also lead to physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, shaking, and a higher-than-normal heartbeat rate.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Not all anxiety is the same. It can take different forms and may require different methods of treatment. The most common forms of anxiety disorder include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This is the most common form of anxiety that causes an individual to constantly worry over things for long periods.
A fear of something specific, such as insects, enclosed spaces, reptiles, etc.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Reliving a traumatic event over and over again.
Occurs as a result of extreme fear which can result in physical symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
An urge to constantly work on time-consuming tasks to help subconsciously calm the mind from uncontrollable and reoccurring thoughts.
Acute Stress Disorder
Similar to PTSD, but lasts for a shorter duration, usually less than a month.
What is Holistic Wellness for Seniors?
Holistic wellness is an approach that takes into account the overall health and healing of an individual which includes their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
By taking all aspects of an individual’s well-being into account, holistic wellness therapies help keep the body active, engage the mind, and nurture the spirit.
Instead of relying on just medication, holistic wellness is an approach that helps treat and heal more than just physical health issues. It supports an individual's emotional, social, and spiritual needs in an attempt to improve overall well-being and quality of life, especially for seniors.
Alternative Therapies for Improving Holistic Wellness in Seniors
The holistic approach to senior care is built on the foundation that if one aspect of an individual isn’t functioning properly all other aspects of their life are impacted. Any imbalance whether that be physical, mental, or spiritual, can all negatively impact overall health.
In a holistic approach all forms of health care, whether that be conventional medication or alternative therapies, can be used in the treatment of patients.
As such, many types of holistic treatment techniques can help seniors take responsibility for their own well-being to achieve optimal health. These include:
Yoga & Meditation
Exercise is one of the most impactful ways one can improve physical and mental health. Yoga and meditation exercises can be especially beneficial for seniors as they can help keep the body active while relaxing the mind and spirit.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
This form of ‘talking therapy’ is a common treatment technique to help patients deal with many mental health-related problems.
Art, Dance, & Music Therapy
Music, dance, and art therapy are all proven methods of helping seniors cope with self-esteem, stress, fear, anger, chronic pain, and much more.
Engaging in social interactions is another alternative therapy that can be extremely beneficial in helping seniors communicate better, reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, and decrease isolation or feelings of loneliness.
Instilling Faith, Religion, & Spiritual Practices
For many seniors living in Canada, their faith and religion can play a much more important role than you would think when it comes to maintaining their overall well-being.
Ensuring that they stay connected to their faith by going to church, for example, can be an excellent way to help their spiritual well-being.
Diet & Sleep
Diet can also play a crucial role in maintaining overall well-being. Eating healthy and at regular intervals isn’t just beneficial for physical health but also for mental well-being.
Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule can also go a long way in helping seniors deal with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. A good night’s rest can also help rejuvenate the body and mind, helping seniors stay active and have higher energy levels.
Living Life To The Fullest With Northwood Intouch!
With a growing population of seniors in Canada, senior care and well-being is a growing cause of concern for many Canadian families. With more and more seniors preferring to stay in their own homes upon retirement, caregivers and family members alike are struggling to find ways to ensure senior safety and overall wellness.
Luckily, modern technology and alternative therapies have made senior care a lot more manageable and affordable for family members. Elderly devices such as automatic pill dispensers, senior fall detection devices, and more can all aid in senior care management and provide both seniors and caregivers with much-needed peace of mind.
To learn more about our products and services give us a call at +1 (902) 492-3346 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org