Anxiety is one of the more common mental health conditions, and it’s one that can be very debilitating as it increases. Your dad is experiencing anxiety and panic attacks, and it’s becoming very limiting. Can home care assistance help him?
Start By Understanding Anxiety
Anxiety can present itself in many ways. Phobias are a form of anxiety. Agoraphobia is a common one in the elderly. If your dad is afraid to leave his home or be in a public space, having a caregiver by his side on shopping trips, walks around the neighborhood, or trips to a doctor’s office can make a big difference.
If anxiety goes unchecked, it can build up to full-blown panic attacks. During a panic attack, the heart starts racing, you sweat, you may feel chest pain, you can’t breathe, and your limbs may tingle or become numb. For many people, it so closely mimics the symptoms of a heart attack that they are convinced that’s what’s happening.
Your dad experiences panic attacks, and he’s terrified to be alone. That’s understandable and something you should address.
Your Dad Hates Being Alone All Day
Your dad may find he is anxious about being alone all day. He fell while getting into the shower one day, and it took hours before anyone realized it. He’s afraid to take a shower again. That’s understandable.
He could have a caregiver sitting outside the shower waiting to help him get in and out, hold his towel while your dad takes his shower, and hands him that towel through the curtain. After wrapping himself up in the towel, he has home care assistance for support while he steps out of the shower.
Panic Attacks Can Come Out of the Blue
Your dad’s panic attack may have come out of nowhere and has no explanation. Sometimes, there simply is no reason other than stress built up over time. If this happens, it’s time to look at things your dad can do to vent his stress and frustration.
Daily exercise, such as a brisk walk in the woods or a local park, can help ease anxiety. Yoga and Tai Chi help by teaching your dad breathing skills and getting his mind to focus on the positions or movements.
With home care assistance, your dad has a companion in his home as often as needed. He has help with housework, meals, transportation, and medication reminders. If he simply feels comforted having another person in his house while he’s awake and active, that’s an option.
It’s estimated that as much as 20% of the aging population has anxiety. Your dad isn’t alone, and he should have the support he needs to age confidently and without fear.
Call an agency or go online to reach out and get answers to your questions about home care. With aides coming throughout the week for companionship services, home care assistance is a great way to support your dad. He’ll have someone to lean on during the tough moments and that helps him gain confidence.