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Anxiety and Stress Management

with Patricia A. Farrell, PhD

This blog has been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support Dr. Farrell has brought to the WebMD community.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Anxiety of the Elderly

Elderly individuals, we’ve come to understand, suffer from anxiety disorders just like the rest of us. Older women, in fact, may actually develop panic as they grow older, and when we consider why we begin to understand the problems here.

Advancing age means more dependence on the resources of our family, our friends, and our community. It also means needing access to healthcare professionals who have advanced training for caring for elderly patients. You wouldn’t take your child to a regular General Practitioner, but rather a pediatrician. So, why would an elderly person not be taken to a physician specializing in gerontology? This is one question and it is of great importance because of the physiology and the psychology at play here.

Now a new study has found that too many communities are not ready to meet the needs of their aging populations. Access isn’t provided in living spaces, buses, or restaurants. Meals needed by the shut-in elderly may be delivered sporadically, but who looks in the community for those who haven’t applied because they didn’t have the knowledge or the energy? Medications may be needed, but can they afford them and are they being given in the proper amounts and at the right times?

How can you help? Each of us has to look in our area for the gaps and the things overlooked. It’s not just a service we owe to our older citizens, we owe it to ourselves, so it meets two needs.

Related Topics: Long-term Antidepressants for Elderly?, Anxiety Often Missed in the Elderly

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Posted by: Patricia Farrell, PhD at 2:52 pm

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