If the patient reports anxiety and its noted on the OASIS assessment, make sure you include anxiety management in your careplan.
Your patient may be anxious and/or depressed because illness prevents participation in activities. While anxiety is an understandable response to illness it is not inevitable. With support and counseling a patient can cope with the anxiety.
- Excessive worry about several events or activities for more than half a day.
- Trouble controlling anxious feelings
- The presence of three or more of the following symptoms, some of which are present for over half a day:
Teaching the patient how to cope with anxiety
- Keep a journal. Studies show that when patients keep a log or journal about their symptoms before and after treatment it helps identify the interventions that are effective. Keep a log of your response to treatments to see if your symptoms are getting better. By tracking this information your doctor, home health nurse and/or therapists will know if they want to keep or make changes to medications and exercises.
- Advise the patient to avoid making major life decisions until s/he is effectively coping with anxiety.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Exercise daily. Encourage exercise even if it is only with a few body parts. Mild exercise 30 minutes a day may have a positive effect on anxiety. If s/he misses a day, tell her/him not to worry and to simply do it the next day.
- Be social. Encourage the patient to be around people, even if s/he is not feeling up to it. The illness may make the patient feel withdrawn, but counsel them to not let it govern their behavior. Encourage the patient to call or visit a friend.
- Maintain nutrition and personal hygiene. Help the patient gain a sense of control by encouraging her/him to care for her/himself as much as possible and make daily decisions such as what to wear
- Encourage the patient to express feelings and listening attentively an make no judgments.