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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

An illustrious past meets an exceptional future. We are committed to creating meaningful lives of purposeful engagement for every resident as well as those who serve them.

Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Thursday, November 5, 2020

Why we grow more fearful as we grow older and suggestions to help

As we grow older, it’s not uncommon to become more fearful or anxious. There has been some research showing that increased fear can be related to changes in our brain that develop over the years.  

When we’re exposed to fear, our response to the experience is fight or flight. Some older adults may continue to feel anxiety if there is a delay in recognizing that the perceived danger is over.

But age itself can also make us apprehensive.  

What do we fear when we’re older

We may find ourselves worrying about the consequences of growing old. The concern with whether we’ll be able to take care of ourselves or maintain our independence are often at the top of the list.

Other anxious thoughts may include:

  • Ability to stay in our home

  • Fear of living or being alone

  • Consequences of falling or becoming injured

  • Fear of becoming ill

  • Becoming lonely or isolated

  • No longer being able to shop and cook

  • Needing help to perform the basics of daily living

What steps you can take

All of these concerns are normal and the anxiety that can accompany these feelings are common. But there are also steps you can take to address or minimize those fears. Start by assessing your options.

1. What are your immediate and foreseeable needs in the future?

2. Do you have nearby family or friend support?

3. Are there home or health care services available in your area?

4. Do you need the support of an assisted living community?

How an assisted living community can help

If it’s becoming clear that more help is needed than can typically be accommodated at home, it may be time to start looking into the services offered in assisted living communities. Many of an aging adult’s general anxieties can be addressed by making a move.

Here are a few of the more common offerings you should find in a community:

1. Help with the activities of daily living

When you make your home in an assisted living community, you’ll no longer have to worry about being able to complete the basics of everyday life. Instead, you’ll have help with housekeeping and personal care, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, managing medication, and eating, as well as transferring and mobility, such as getting into and out of a bed or chair.

2. Maintaining your independence is a priority

Losing independence is one of the top fears that older adults often express. Everyone wants to be able to take care of themselves and not feel as if they’re a burden on their family or friends. They also worry about having to surrender their right to make their own decisions or to losing their choices. But there is no worry of that in assisted living. Receiving support can actually help you maintain your independence longer.

3. Making new friendships is easy

As we grow older, one of the unfortunate circumstances is that we may lose some of our friends and family members, leading to isolation. There are serious physical and emotional impacts when we lose our connections and the ability to engage in life. But when you live in an active and vibrant community, making new friends comes naturally. Isolation is not a threat when you participate in the activities and opportunities that you can share with others.

4. Nutritious and delicious dining programs

Eating healthy is always important, but maybe even more so at this time in life. We need good nutrition to fuel our bodies and minds, yet unfortunately, as we grow older we may find our interest or energy lacking when it comes time to plan, shop and prepare meals. But there are no worries if you move into an assisted living community. You’ll know you’re getting everything you need with their dining program - and you won’t have to do any clean up either.

5. Living in a safe home environment

Unlike your current home which may require extensive remodeling to create a safe place to live, your assisted living home was designed specifically for your safety and comfort. Many of us live in homes with stairs, narrow hall and doorways, as well as small bathrooms that are likely not equipped for any future needs. From elevators to spaces that can accommodate walking assistance, you’ll find all obstacles are removed in assisted living.

6. Enjoy an active and full life but as much privacy as you like

One of the many advantages of an assisted living community is the availability of planned activities, typically offering a full social calendar. As we grow older, it can be more difficult to attend or drive to events, leading to a fear of isolation. And an added bonus when you move into a community is that you’ll also have as much privacy as you like. You’ll live in a private home and when and whether you choose to leave is always up to you.

7. Security of knowing there is 24/7 help if needed

Another great benefit is knowing that there is assistance available if you ever need it. One of the bigger fears of many older adults is that something may happen while they are alone. The idea that they would need help but not be able to call for it becomes a common worry. In assisted living, you can put that apprehension to rest. There is someone available 24/7, all year round.

Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge Assisted Living community

At Westminster at Lake Ridge, our services and activities are tailored to meet the needs of our residents. We want everyone to be as free from fear as possible and so we support them to continue to embrace life to the fullest.

We offer beautiful and well-designed private homes, delicious chef-prepared meals, top-of-the-line amenities, fitness programs, a monthly calendar full of social events and scheduled transportation.

We’re here to lend a helping hand whenever it’s needed. And you can relax knowing that even though you still maintain your privacy and independence, you’re never truly alone. If you ever need assistance, we’re here around the clock.

Call (703)794-4631 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.


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