Skip to main content

Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms Among Older Adults

Quality Care | Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Contact: Andrea Sellers

Although many seniors enjoy well-being and satisfaction in later years, some experience psychiatric and mental health difficulties. A topic of particular significance for older adults, bot Veteran and non-Veteran, is the understanding, assessment, and treatment of post-traumatic stress.

There are a number of reasons why symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can increase with age. Both chronological age and developmental processes of aging impact the experience of PTSD. For instance, role changes and functional losses may make coping with memories of earlier trauma more challenging for an older adult. Such stressors include retirement, increased health problems, decreased sensory abilities, reduced income, loss of loved ones, decreased social support, cognitive impairment, and other stressors.

To manage PTSD in early and mid-life, individuals may engage in avoidance-based coping strategies (such as drinking alcohol or over-committing oneself to work) that are less available or effective as they get older. At the same time, adaptation and resilience developed over a lifetime can provide a rich reservoir of coping resources upon which to draw.

Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available and the Leesburg Regional Medical Center (LRMC) Senior Behavioral Health Center is committed to offering comprehensive therapy that understands the uniqueness of aging.

Patients experiencing changes in behavior such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, aggression, or managing a lifelong condition like schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder are entitled to quality mental health care. At the LRMC Senior Behavioral Health Center, we offer an environment where adult patients feel comfortable, secure and ready to engage in their recovery.

Be sure to consult a doctor to help you decide on the treatment plan that will be best for you. Admitted on a voluntary basis only, patients receive individualized treatment from a caring, supportive program. The LRMC Senior Behavioral Health Center can be reached at (352) 323-3270.