Can You Help a Senior Who Has PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder might not be a condition you connect with your senior, but it’s more common than you realize. Your senior most likely has experienced at least one situation that contributes to even mild versions of PTSD. It’s important to understand how to help her.

Listen to Her as Much as Possible

Senior Care Laguna Woods, CA: Seniors and PTSD

Sometimes what your elderly family member needs more than anything is for you to listen to her. PTSD is complicated and some days she might need you to just hear what she’s saying. Being supportive and holding off on trying to fix things is often the best answer during those times.

Do What You Can to Be There for Her
Your senior might not know what to do about the feelings she experiences as part of PTSD. That can cause her to isolate herself and to draw back from encounters with other family members and friends. It’s important that you or someone else is there for her as often as you can be. When you can’t be there, it might be a good idea to have senior care providers there with her. They can help with tasks, but more importantly they can offer companionship.

Get to Know and Understand Her Triggering Events
Very often people with PTSD have triggering events and prompts that can send them right back to whatever caused their traumatic emotional response. These triggers can be all sorts of things from sights and sounds to conversations about situations similar to her own initiating event. If you can understand your senior’s triggers you can do more to help her to avoid them.

Keep Her Environment as Safe as Possible
People with PTSD might sometimes not know where they are when they’re taken back to their traumatic event. If that’s the case for your senior, you need to make sure her environment is as safe as possible. Having a routine with a fairly set schedule can also help a little. This gives your senior an underlying schedule that can help her to feel safe.

Consider Therapy
If your elderly family member has resisted therapy in the past but her PTSD is getting worse, it might be time to reconsider the idea. Your senior’s doctor can help in some ways, but a therapist that your aging family member trusts can help her to find tools that help her to manage her situation in her daily life. A support group is another idea to consider.

Even if you’re not able to make the PTSD go away for your aging family member or manage it for her, you can be there to listen and to support her. That’s the most important thing you can do, especially when she’s feeling her worst.

Excerpt: PTSD can be incredibly scary for your senior and for you, but there are steps you can take to make it easier.

If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Care in Laguna Woods, CA, please contact the caring staff at Easy Living Home Care today. Providing Non-Medical Home Care Services in Orange County, CA since 2009. Call for Assistance: (949) 282-5017 or (949) 842-6831.

Lori LaPorte
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