Increased awareness of ADHD has led to more senior adults being diagnosed with this common disorder. Often, this is due to a family member, such as a grandchild, being diagnosed, and suddenly, all of those quirky behaviors a senior exhibits suddenly make sense. In other cases, a senior’s family members or in-home caregiver may urge him or her to discuss symptoms such as forgetfulness with a doctor out of the fear that they indicate age-related decline. However a senior receives a diagnosis, there is one thing for certain: An ADHD diagnosis can have a profound effect on a senior’s life.
Home care agencies in El Dorado County note that diagnosing ADHD in seniors can be complicated due to coexisting health conditions and normal aging. For example, a senior who zones out during a conversation may actually be struggling with hearing loss or a medication side effect. Hormonal changes and brain injuries can also cause forgetfulness. For this reason, a senior’s doctor will ask lots of questions regarding when specific symptoms started, and they may request further testing to rule out other causes before settling on an ADHD diagnosis.
Benefits of a Late-in-Life Diagnosis
After years of struggling with ADHD symptoms such as chronic lateness and procrastination, it can be a relief to finally have an explanation for these behaviors. Senior adults who seek treatment for ADHD may also find that managing their symptoms will enhance their wellbeing. For example, a senior with ADHD might experience improved physical health when they can remember to go to scheduled appointments and take medication on time.
Treatment for senior ADHD may involve medications that are prescribed to people of every age, such as Adderall. However, these medications can sometimes raise blood pressure, and they may not be suitable for all senior adults. Psychotherapy can also be used to help seniors learn how to change the behaviors caused by ADHD. Learning how to eliminate distractions and organize one’s life using technology, calendars and other devices can also help seniors minimize the effects of ADHD on their lives.
If you or a senior relative could use help managing day-to-day activities, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers offer medication reminders, provide transportation, and help with tasks like preparing healthy meals and light housekeeping. To learn more about our care services, including hourly, respite, and live-in senior care in El Dorado Count, please give us a call at (916) 358-3801 today!