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Anxiety of an elderly widow


anxiety of an elderly widow

63-year old Mdm Low fell into a state of anxiety after the passing of her husband over three years ago, leaving her with their 15 year old son. Her anxiety was not without basis, as her husband was the family’s sole breadwinner and also her constant pillar of emotional support. She began to worry about their livelihood, from the deteriorating condition of their 1-room flat to finding enough money for their meals and paying for household expenses. The constant paranoia of an inability to control the unexpected future was a huge stressor for Mdm Low.


Although Mdm Low understands that illnesses are inevitable with age, the death of her husband amplified the looming possibility of her sudden demise, implicating her son’s future.


To exacerbate the situation, having difficulty falling asleep worsened her excessive worrying. This affected her ability to carry out day-to-day activities. Mdm Low also became more reclusive and started to spend more time watching television, while her list of worries started to manifest into anxiety.


To aid Mdm Low with her journey, O’Joy liaised with medical escorts and scheduled consultations with doctors, where her medical compliance could be monitored. In addition, Mdm Low was also educated about anxiety and the low risk of contracting a sudden deadly illness.


Her counsellor also contacted a voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) to assist Mdm Low in the house cleaning services and the removal of bed bugs. Finally, new furniture such as a television and sofa were also sourced to ensure that Mdm Low had a safe and clean environment to live in.


Today, Mdm Low no longer requires medication to help her fall asleep. She is also able to better regulate her negative thoughts. Even though she still worries about her son’s future, she is slowly coming to terms with the uncertainties of the future, and is more willing to open up about her concerns. For now, Mdm Low has also become more sociable, and has started to chat and go for strolls with her neighbours.


*Names and identifiable details are changed for confidentiality.

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