Geriatric anxiety refers to anxiety disorders among the elderly. Anxiety among the elderly is similar to that in the younger population — the person feels worry, fear or doubt. However, it occurs with higher intensity and often, along with other physical and mental illnesses. Anxiety is common among the elderly but is generally overlooked as a sign of aging. Having a physical illness drastically increases the risk of geriatric anxiety.

Some symptoms are similar to those of other anxiety disorders like a feeling of dread or doom, chest pain, and breathlessness. Along with these, some characteristic features of geriatric anxiety are:

  • Constant fear about their family’s well being – resulting in multiple phone calls checking on others’ whereabouts
  • Unwillingness to take part in regular activities like walking – owing to the fear of falling or getting injured
  • Being wary of unknown people accessing their homes and other heightened fears like burglary
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Excessive worry about illnesses
  • Memory loss
  • Unwillingness to leave their homes
  • Heightened levels of anxiety following the death of a spouse or loved one
  • Prolonged feelings of loneliness