What Does ADHD Look Like in Seniors and Older Adults?

What Does ADHD Look Like in Seniors and Older Adults?

What Does ADHD Look Like in Seniors and Older Adults? 2560 1709 Long Island Counseling Services

ADHD is often a lifelong condition. While many of us focus on the needs and challenges faced by children, the truth is that many teens, young adults, adults, and even seniors also struggle with ADHD in their own ways.

Part of the reason for this is that ADHD tends to manifest differently in adults. The symptoms are different, and how they impact both their lives and the lives of others may be different as well. But that doesn’t mean that ADHD has gone away. It can be emotionally and psychologically damaging to many populations, and one of the populations that can be affected by it – but also have their needs ignored – is the senior population.

ADHD in Seniors

Though it hasn’t been studied nearly as extensively in older adults as it has for children and teens, seniors may be at more significant risk for ADHD symptoms in ways that could actually affect their health and wellbeing. Recall that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, and those that are able to manage the symptoms typically have to develop cognitive tools and strategies, especially if they also have executive function disorder.

But as a person ages, their cognitive function may begin to decline. They may be in worse physical health, or not be sleeping as they should. All of these are issues that can enhance the symptoms of ADHD. Over time, they may develop all the same hallmark symptoms of ADHD that are often seen in children:

  • Disorganization
  • Impatience
  • Trouble Relaxing
  • Difficulty Completing Tasks
  • Poor Planning
  • Impulsivity
  • Forgetfulness

Doctors are also not necessarily trained to consider these issues as they relate to ADHD, especially if the person was undiagnosed and untreated for ADHD in their youth – something that was common among today’s seniors.

As a result, a person that may not be taking their medications, or may not be taking care of their home, or may not be listening to a doctor’s instructions, may be struggling with ADHD. Since maintaining good health, sleep, and other functions is very important for better health as a senior, this can lead to the possibility of a steeper decline.

Help for ADHD at All Ages

It’s important to not see ADHD as a childhood disorder, or to only prioritize treating and addressing ADHD at a younger age. Adults – and seniors – that address their ADHD are more likely to have happier, more content lives and ideally take better care of themselves in the process. Learn more by contacting Long Island Counseling Services, today.