The Top Fears of Aging

It is integral to understand your aging loved ones wants and desires through open discussion. Once they are heard, you should address their need and take action. To get a basis of understanding about what your aging loved ones might be going through, we outlined the top 10 fears of aging below: 

  1. Loss of Independence – Its important for them to keep as much control over their lives as possible.  Always offer information and options to help them make the best decisions. 
  2. Declining Function and Health – Be proactive and preventative. The majority of seniors have multiple chronic health conditions, with associated physical limitations.  Have a discussion about what assistance they need, and plan for the future.
  3. Money & Financial Exploitation – They worry about running out of money, and others taking advantage of them.  Discussions should involve being sure basic expenses are covered, and long term plans.  Help them feel comfortable to have a trusted individual monitor their accounts for unauthorized activity.
  4. Not Being Able to Live at Home – Home is where memories have been made, making it especially important with those who have dementia. Discuss options for hiring caregivers and ways to enable them to stay home.  Be open to gathering information about downsizing and senior communities.
  5. Death of a spouse – They see friends and relatives passing on, which is a reminder of their own mortality.  The loss of a spouse can threaten or make seniors lose their independence.
  6. Inability to manage their own daily activities – It is important that they do as much as possible for themselves, even if it takes longer.  Hiring a caregiver to assist, and encouraging your loved one to participate helps foster independence
  7. Not being able to drive – This relates to loss of independence, but stressing safety of themselves and others on the road is important.  Assist your loved ones in finding alternative transportation methods that allow for independence. Examples include: Ride Share (Uber), shuttles, and caregivers.
  8. Isolation or loneliness – Both can lead to depression and a loss of self-worth.  Set schedules with family and friends to visit, or hiring caregivers.
  9. Abuse and Neglect – Encourage open conversations if there is a change in their behavior or you notice bruising or wounds.
  10. Fear of falling – Many falls can be prevented.  The first step is regular exercise if possible. You should also install handrails and remove hazards, such as rugs and cords. It is also valuable to encourage the use of a walker or cane if needed; investigating potential causes of dizziness can also help prevent falls.