Anxiety in older people may occur for different reasons, but physical illness or personal loss can be common triggers.

Factors that can increase an older person's risk of developing anxiety can include:
An increase in physical health problems/conditions e.g. heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, chronic pain and side-effects from medications.

Significant losses—in relationships, independence, work and income, self-worth, mobility and flexibility may cause significant anxiety.

In addition, an elderly individual may encounter social isolation, significant change in living arrangements e.g. moving from living independently to a care setting or admission to a hospital.

Finally, particular anniversaries and the memories they evoke may cause or contribute to feelings of anxiety.