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Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi I came across this site when I literally googled 'crying Woolf and the elderly' and just like that you were there!!
I am dealing with my mum who has recently been suffering from bad anxiety attacks. She lived in warden assisted accommodation but has her own flat.
Until recently Her anxiety was escalating from zero to phoning emergency services but with some intervention from myself and my sister by phoning her 3-4 times in the day this has helped to de-escalate the panic. However - her gp has put her on anti-depressants and I'm going with mum for a follow up appt with the gp soon.
I'm just sitting here now trying to prepare for the appt but can't help thinking (and I may be way off) that now I have put on line shopping in place , extra time with her once a week companion to twice a week and a few other strategies to help, that if I just gave her permission Not to be anxious any more that she might just turn the corner and regain a more positive outlook!!
Just a theory but she has ''played' these cards before in order to get all her ducks in a line but I feel she's just older now and maybe it's more difficult this time say "I'm ok now."
Thoughts ??
Many thanks for reading
Reply with quote  #2 
Your mom's doctors may be able to help you pinpoint better what is going on. From a layperson's perspective, I think a lot depends on why she is anxious in the first place.  If she has a few isolated "things" that trigger her anxiety, then she maybe she can calm down by having those triggers removed.  But if her anxiety is more generalized and more deeply rooted, then it may not be that simple.

In general, I think it is common for elders to become more anxious and more fearful as they get older.  Between the losses they are experiencing (...deaths, health issues, control, daily routines...) and the overwhelming feeling of powerlessness (...due to lots of things, including a more confusing world...), they may not have skills to deal with their fears.  So they may manage the only way they know trying to get others to make them feel safe and make the "pain" go away.  

If they were anxious prior to aging, I think their anxiety only gets compounded when end of life issues emerge.  And if the person was always a "cry- wolf" kind of person, it can very triggering to us when those behaviors escalate.

I think all we can really do is validate their feelings and let them know that it is normal to feel scared. But since we cannot fix the world to go along with their wishes, I think we have to be prepared for the reality that this may be their new normal and there is no permanent solution.

Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you so much for your kind reply. We have seen mums gp today. The meeting was quite a positive one. I've managed to put in place a few strategies for mum to help her through her day and after seeing her today they seem to be helping with how she's managing herself. The advice from her doctor is to carry on with these strategies as it seems to be having some positive effect- even though this is small at least it's one foot forward to feeling a bit more in control. Control of how she manages herself and her activities of daily living Seem to be key for her.
Thank you again for your candidness as it has been helpful and affirmed some perspective from our side of the counter so to speak !
Best wishes
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