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Understanding PTSD in an Aging Parent

Caregiver in Phoenix AZ

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that is caused when a person suffers a traumatic experience in their life. It can cause your loved one to suffer from anxiety, flashbacks, isolation, insomnia, hypervigilance, and other debilitating symptoms.Caregiver-in-Phoenix-AZ

For many seniors, the traumatic event they are probably suffering from is related to World War II or another war they fought in. However, they may also suffer from PTSD because of a car accident they witnessed, a natural disaster, or another event that has threatened death. With the help of caregivers, your loved one can better treat their PTSD symptoms by understanding more about this disorder.

 

Symptoms

PTSD does not only impact the elder’s mental health, but also has some physical symptoms to be aware of. These physical symptoms include:

  • Sudden outbursts of anger
  • Trouble sleeping or staying asleep
  • Rapid heart rate and breathing
  • Profuse sweating
  • Become extremely distressed when reminded of the traumatic event through certain sounds, sights, or smells
  • Avoid certain activities that cause the elder to remember those events

 

Some emotional changes that could occur are:

  • No longer seems interested in favorite activities
  • Has trouble showing affection
  • Feelings of a despairing future
  • Extremely alert or guarded
  • Feeling detached or estranged from loved ones

 

They will most likely suffer from some mental changes, such as:

  • Recurring thoughts of the event
  • Recurring and distressing dreams of the event
  • Constantly having flashbacks
  • Unable to remember an important part of the event
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Tries to avoid thoughts, feelings, or discussions that are related to the trauma

 

How the Caregiver Can Help

When someone is suffering from PTSD, it is important their loved ones and caregivers are patient with the elder. Other things you can do to help include:

  • Join a support group. A PTSD support group is a great place to meet others who understand your situation. You will be able to get more information on the disorder from other caregivers, as well as get advice for situations you are facing.
  • Encourage the elder to see someone. A therapist may be helpful in allowing your loved one to discuss their feelings of the traumatic event. By talking it out to a trained professional, the elder may be able to get tips on how to cope with their disorder.
  • Watch for symptoms. If you notice any symptoms or changes to the elder’s health, encourage them to see a psychiatrist as soon as possible. Keep their number, along with the phone number of any other medical professionals that help care for your loved one in an easy-to-remember place.

 

If you or an aging loved one are interested in hiring caregiver services in Phoenix, AZ or the surrounding areas, please contact the professional team at Devoted Guardians Home Care.  Call today at (800) 699-4781 or (480) 999-3012.

 

Source:  http://www.veteranaid.org/blog/2016/10/04/ideas-treating-ptsd-without-medication/

Aaron Sinykin, MBA, CEO

Born and raised in Madison Wisconsin. Graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Finance in 1999, and Graduated from Arizona State University WP Carey School of Business with an MBA in 2005.

Aaron spent 5 years working for Intel Corporation in Chandler, Arizona right out of college until he ventured off on his own. Aaron has owned and operated successful small businesses for the past 10 years.

Aaron is currently the CEO and owner of Devoted Guardians a Non-Medical In Homecare Agency covering the entire Phoenix valley. Aaron has been CEO for the past 3 years.