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Caregiving Tips for Managing Anxiety Disorders



Patience, acceptance, and understanding are all requirements for caregivers who are working with clients who have anxiety disorders. The goal for managing anxiety disorders is to help people live as independently as possible. Unfortunately, many older adults have difficulty communicating their experiences. This is why the support of an in-home caregiver can be beneficial for managing anxiety disorders.


Other reasons for a misdiagnosis are that anxiety symptoms can mimic side effects from medications, anxiety symptoms can present differently in the elderly than in young people, and anxiety symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other existing disorders a person might have. For example, trembling is both a symptom of anxiety and a symptom of Parkinson’s Disease.


What Is An Anxiety Disorder?


An anxiety disorder includes chronic feelings of unease, worry, fear, apprehension, discomfort, and dread, to the point where these feelings are disruptive to daily activities and life goals. These feelings are often accompanied by physical sensations such as heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, and insomnia. Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. The difference with an anxiety disorder is that the symptoms impact the normal functioning of the individual.


Symptoms of General Anxiety Disorder


Signs and symptoms will vary slightly with each individual, but the general signs and symptoms of general anxiety disorder include:


  • Worry that occurs more often than not for at least 6 months and is clearly excessive.

  • Frequently fatigued or tiring easily

  • Constant edginess or restlessness

  • Impaired concentration or frequently having the mind go blank

  • Irritability and feelings of frustration

  • Increased muscle aches and soreness

  • Difficulty sleeping and periods of insomnia


Caregiving Tips for Managing Anxiety Disorders


Communication is so important. Above all else, be patient, kind, and empathetic. In-home caregivers can help clients manage anxiety disorders by learning how to normalize the situation and by not minimizing how the client feels. Other ways in-home caregivers assist include:


  • Helping clients maintain their medication schedule

  • Being mindful of triggers and identifying triggers that need to be reported

  • Observing and documenting so that there can be better learnings over time

  • Include managing anxiety disorders in their personalized care plan

  • Provide and facilitate positive social interactions and quality time with friends and family

  • Help clients practice techniques that can reduce anxiety, such as meditation and listening to calming music


The best thing an in-home caregiver can do is become well-educated in anxiety disorders, so that they may respond in the best way possible. Understanding the causes, signs, symptoms, and treatment options will allow in-home caregivers to provide the best care plans for each client.


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