Older adults who struggle with dressing, bathing and preparing meals, but don’t get the help they need, may experience high levels of anxiety that can lead to adverse consequences, such as wearing soiled clothes or going hungry.
A new study by University of Michigan researchers tracked the behavior of older adults whose needs were not handled properly, leading to elevated anxiety symptoms. This created “a vicious cycle that may lower the quality of life of older adults,” said Xiaoling Xiang, the study’s co-author and assistant professor of social work.
“Our findings reinforce the notion that needs for mental health services and community-based long-term services and supports are interconnected,” she said.
Data came from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, collected from 2011 to 2016. The sample involved 3,936 Medicare beneficiaries with activity limitations at age 65 and older.