The new year is finally here – welcome, 2024! Whilst many may be rejoicing and ready to tackle the year ahead with enthusiasm, many may not be quite as keen. Old people, especially, can be more likely to experience feelings of anxiety at the prospect, since a new year reminds them that they’re yet another year older.
Whilst a fear of ageing is natural, it can be especially intimidating when you’re already in your elder years, as it serves as a reminder that your number of years left may be less than you would like. However, this fear shouldn’t stop you from continuing to live life to the fullest. Let us offer some advice on how to deal with these feelings of anxiety, so you can continue to prosper in old age.
There are many common fears related to ageing that can bring on feelings of anxiety. Many older adults may be worried about falling, being unable to afford medication and other living expenses, experiencing memory loss, having to be dependent, being left alone, experiencing loss and even fears of death. Similarly, if you have already experienced any of these as you’ve aged, then you may experience fear that they will continue to worsen.
Anxiety, no matter its cause, can leave you feeling unexcited and unmotivated to do things that you otherwise enjoy, making you more likely to stay in the house and be both inactive and unsociable – the opposite of what is recommended for elderly people to do.
One of the best ways to deal with a fear of ageing is to educate yourself on what you can expect to potentially experience in your older years. As the saying goes – knowledge is power, and by understanding what you may face and what you can do to reduce your chances of facing certain ailments or experiences, then you will feel better prepared.
Remember, just because someone you know may experience a certain illness or age-related difficulty, doesn’t mean that you will automatically experience the same.
Many elderly people are hesitant to open up and talk to others about their feelings. This may be for many reasons, such as generational pride, not wanting to burden younger family members with their issues or a fear that their worries will be dismissed.
However, talking with someone you trust – whether that be a friend, family member or professional – can be incredibly cathartic. Furthermore, it’s been shown that talking about your worries and emotions can relieve their intensity, whilst the person you speak with may offer insights and a perspective that you’d otherwise not have considered.
Whilst it may be easier said than done, trying your best to be mindful of the present and live every day as it comes is a great way to mitigate fears of the future. It’s difficult to worry about things that haven’t happened yet when you’re focused on the now and appreciating the positive experiences that your day-to-day life currently offers you.
Is a lack of mobility as you age something that brings you age-anxiety? Reduced mobility doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying the experience of life. You can rent a stairlift to offer you a convenient solution without losing your independence.