Study Shows Anxiety Among Seniors When Needs Not Met

Nursing Home Blog

What happens when elderly people who need help with daily tasks don’t get the help they need? A recent study from University of Michigan found that unmet needs among elderly adults may cause higher levels of anxiety. The reverse was true as well: elderly people who suffer from anxiety are more likely to have unmet needs.

What Happens When Basic Needs Go Unmet

When people get older, they may need help with some or all of the tasks of daily living.

Without assistance, elderly adults may suffer without the ability to:

  • Buy groceries, cook or eat.
  • Take a shower or bathe.
  • Do laundry or other home chores.
  • Keep track of medications.
  • Pay bills.
  • Get out of bed or move around the house.
  • Leave the house.

When these basic needs are not fulfilled, people may feel shame, embarrassment, and chronic stress, which can increase levels of anxiety.

A Vicious Cycle

Not only do unmet needs cause anxiety, anxiety can also cause unmet needs. Anxiety itself may be disabling, creating a greater need for assistance with daily tasks. Sadly, people with mental health challenges have a harder time getting the help they need.

The study’s researchers believe the solution is two-fold. First, the elderly need better access to community-based services that will help them with daily living tasks. Second, they also need access to good mental health treatments.

Fighting Neglect in Nursing Homes

When you think of elderly people not getting the help they need for daily tasks, you might think of people who live alone. However, unmet needs are also a problem in nursing homes. When nursing homes are short-staffed, the quality of care goes way down. Employees may not have the time or the training to properly take care of the day-to-day needs of residents.

Elder Abuse Attorneys in Los Angeles

If your loved one lives in a nursing home watch for possible signs of neglect, such as changes in grooming, behavior or emotions. If you suspect he or she may be a victim of neglect, call the elder abuse attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere at 1-800-281-8515 for a free consultation.