Do you have an elderly loved one who experiences anxiety at night? Unfortunately, anxiety can become more common and impactful as we age, causing sleep disturbances and other issues.
However, there are strategies that caregivers can use to help reduce anxiety in the elderly at night.
This article will discuss tips for reducing elderly anxiety at night, including creating a relaxing environment, engaging in relaxation techniques, and utilizing innovative technologies.
Read on to learn about assisting your senior family member in coping with their anxiety at night and improving their sleep quality.
Understanding Elderly Anxiety at Night
To fully grasp nighttime anxiety in older adults, we must examine its causes and symptoms.
The Causes of Anxiety in the Elderly at Night
There are various causes of anxiety in the elderly at night, some of which include:
- Health Concerns – Older adults may have concerns about their health, chronic illnesses, pain, and other age-related issues that can cause anxiety and worry at night.
- Loss of Independence – Aging can cause a loss of independence, which can be emotionally distressing and lead to anxiety.
- Fear of Falling – Older adults are at an increased risk of falling, which can cause anxiety and fear, especially at night when it is dark, and visibility is low.
- Loneliness and Isolation – Many older adults live alone, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. These feelings can heighten at night with less social interaction and distractions.
- Financial Concerns – Older adults may worry about their financial stability, especially if they are retired and living on a fixed income.
- Medications – Certain medications can cause side effects such as insomnia, nightmares, and anxiety, which can be more pronounced at night.
- Cognitive Decline – As people age, Alzhermer’s, dementia, and cognitive decline can occur, which can cause confusion, disorientation, and anxiety at night.
- Past Traumatic Experiences – Older adults may have experienced traumatic events in their past, such as war, abuse, or loss of loved ones, which can cause anxiety and flashbacks at night.
Click Here to see how teleCalm can help stop late night calls due to nighttime anxiety!
Identifying Anxiety Symptoms in Older Adults
Anxiety symptoms can manifest differently in older adults compared to younger individuals.
Some common symptoms of anxiety in the elderly include:
- Excessive Worrying – Elderly individuals may excessively fret over health, finances, and various life aspects.
- Physical Symptoms – Anxiety may induce symptoms like increased heart rate, perspiration, trembling, and shortness of breath.
- Sleep Disturbances – Seniors with anxiety might struggle with falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or awakening too early.
- Irritability and Restlessness – Anxiety can lead to feelings of irritability, agitation, and restlessness in older adults.
- Avoidance Tendencies– Some seniors with anxiety might evade situations that exacerbate their anxious feelings, such as social gatherings or leaving the house.
- Memory Challenges – Anxiety can impact memory and focus, posing concerns for elderly individuals experiencing cognitive decline to some extent.
- Physical Complaints – Anxiety can cause physical complaints such as headaches, gastrointestinal problems, and muscle tension.
- Late-Night and Repeated Calling – It is important to note that according to WebMD, these symptoms can also indicate other medical conditions, and a proper evaluation by a healthcare professional is necessary to determine the underlying cause.
Top 8 Tips for Reducing Elderly Anxiety at Night
Here are some tips that can help reduce elderly anxiety at night:
- Using teleCalm’s Repeat Dialing Feature
- Using teleCalm’s Quiet Hours Feature
- Establishing a Regular Sleep Routine
- Creating a Calming Sleep Environment
- Limiting Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
- Developing a Relaxation Routine
- Addressing Underlying Medical Conditions
- Talking to a Healthcare Professional
1. Using teleCalm’s Repeat Dialing Feature
With just a few simple steps, you can customize your preferences in the teleCalm Caregiver App to stop compulsive and repeated calls.
Features of teleCalm’s Repeat Dialing include:
- Customizable Settings: Choose the number of calls (2-5 times) and the specified period of time (15-60 minutes) before repeat dialing is activated.
- Gentle Messages to Your Loved One
- No Additional Cost
2. Using teleCalm’s Quiet Hours Feature
The teleCalm’s Quiet Hours feature can block incoming and outgoing calls during specific times.
Here’s how the Quiet Hours feature works:
- Customizable Settings – You can customize Quiet Hours in the teleCalm Caregiver App to activate during specific times, such as Nighttime Quiet Hours from 10 pm to 7 am.
- Default or Personalized Messages – Your loved one will hear a default message during Quiet Hours. You can also record a personalized message in your voice to reassure them.
- Easy to Set Up – Activate Quiet Hours under the Settings screen in the teleCalm Caregiver App. Select the time ranges for Daytime and Nighttime Quiet Hours. You can also adjust or turn off Quiet Hours anytime in the app.
3. Establishing a Regular Sleep Routine
A consistent sleep schedule can help improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety at night. Encourage the elderly to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
4. Creating a Calming Sleep Environment
Make sure the bedroom is comfortable, quiet, and dark. Encourage the elderly to create a peaceful atmosphere by playing soothing music, using aromatherapy, or using a white noise machine.
5. Limiting Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
Encourage the elderly to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, as these substances can interfere with sleep quality and contribute to anxiety.
6. Developing a Relaxation Routine
Meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation before bedtime.
7. Addressing Underlying Medical Conditions
Address any underlying medical conditions contributing to anxiety at night, such as pain, urinary urgency, or respiratory distress.
8. Talking to a Healthcare Professional
Encourage the elderly to seek professional help if their anxiety at night is severe or interfering with their daily activities. A mental health professional or physician can provide appropriate treatment options.
Click Here to Contact teleCalm Today and Start Stress Free Phone Service!