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March 19, 2018

PTSD in Seniors

As most seniors age, they enjoy their retirement years and time for relaxation, but some experience psychiatric and mental health difficulties, like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorders). PTSD can emerge or re-emerge later in life as your loved one ages and their life begins to change drastically – especially with role changes such as retirement, or increased health issues, decreased sensory abilities, reduced income, loss of loved ones, and decreased social support.

PTSD commonly occurs after traumatic events, mostly associated with war, but can also occur after natural disasters, accidents, or different forms of abuse. PTSD can cause your loved one to feel scared after a traumatic event, whether the event just happened or happened many years ago.

Signs of PTSD

  • Flashbacks or feeling like the events are happening over again
  • Trouble sleeping and/or nightmares
  • Feeling alone
  • Angry outbursts
  • Feeling worried, guilty, or sad

If your loved one is showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, have them discuss treatment options with their health care provider. Treatments for PTSD can include anything from anxiety or depression medication to different types of therapy. Ensure that your loved one is not relying on self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, to cope with their PTSD.

When families need more help looking after their senior loved one, Comfort Keepers®’ caregivers, are there to help. Our professionally trained caregivers can provide around-the-clock support so that your loved one receives the valuable physical and emotional assistance they need to live a healthy, happy, and independent life.

To learn more about how our caregivers can help your loved one with PTSD—or everyday living, contact your local Comfort Keepers office today.

References
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml#part_145373
https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treatment/older/ptsd_symptoms_older_adults.asp 

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