You are here

Elderly need separate anxiety measure

12th January 2006

Anxiety in elderly people needs to be measured using a different scale to that of younger people, as they experience different levels of anxiety and at differing times.

Following reports which showed that older people tend to worry about completely separate matters from younger generations, researchers at the Massey School of Psychology believe that this concern should be treated independently.

With no separate anxiety scale provided by the mental health industry, they argue that a number of older people are not given the support or guidance they need.

A study into the types of worries experienced on a day-to-day basis by elderly people found that they were most likely to be anxious about simple tasks such as walking or a trip to the shops.

This is compared to worries over giving presentations, paying bills or taking exams, which was cited as the norm for younger generations.

"Typically I found there is a 'been there, done that' attitude amongst older people," Jane Bryce, one of the authors, told Massey News.

Ms Bryce added that this attitude did not prevent them being anxious about carrying out everyday tasks and that a new psychometric test should be developed to measure levels and provide help with lowering concerns.