Older Americans suffering financial anxiety

Anxiety plagues many older peopleThe current economic difficulties facing the nation may be taking a particularly hard toll on a certain segment of the population – older people.

Dr. George Grossberg, director of the geriatric psychiatry program at Saint Louis University, explains that he has been encountering an increasing number of seniors who are suffering from financial-related anxiety.

“It is affecting millions and millions of people, especially those who were looking forward to a comfortable retirement,” he says.

Some older people may find their anxiety is heightened when they draw parallels with what is happening today with the events of the Great Depression, which are still vivid in their memory, Grossberg suggests.

To deal with anxiety and stress, the psychiatrist suggests a few health resources. For example, he counsels people to take a break and examine the facts when feeling overwhelmed, instead of allowing grim predictions to dominate their thinking.

He cautions retirees about acting impulsively in a way that may damage their long-term financial health.

Meanwhile, people who feel down should remind themselves of all that is good in their lives, such as their health or family relationships, he said.

Many economists have forecast that the current downturn could last through 2009, but the repercussions on each individual’s life will vary.