Fear of growing old or of old people is called Gerontophobia. The cause of this fear is usually discrimination. Young people oftentimes do not understand people older than them and they fear them. They believe that there is nothing in common and isolating themselves from old people turn into fear and hatred of the elderly. The fear of older people may have been brought about by previous interaction with the elderly who may already have dementia and display childish or even violent behavior.
For some who fear growing old, they might have heard horror stories about the nursing home and fear that they will also be put in one of those homes when they grow old. For others, the thought of losing one’s self-control such as being able to dress and feed oneself may be the triggering factor for this fear. Others also fear that when they grow old, they will be left alone by their family. Or some may fear that they will get sick when they grow old and will be left alone to die without family members to take care of them.
Symptoms of gerontophobia are synonymous to many anxiety disorders. When confronted with their fears, they usually panic.
Breathing techniques are often used to handle stressful situations.
Systematic desensitization includes relaxation, understanding what you fear and familiarizing with all the fears on a personal level.