Managing Autism in the Elderly

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Even though autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a relatively common condition, doctors still know very little about it. The lack of information makes it difficult for caregivers to help their aging loved ones enjoy long and fulfilling lives. Here’s a closer look at a few of the most challenging symptoms of autism and how you can help your loved one manage those issues. 


What Doctors Know About ASD

For many years, doctors believed autism was a single disorder that affected everyone in a slightly different manner. Doctors now know there are many different types of autism, and this condition can produce extremely mild symptoms or completely debilitate an individual. Some autistic people have moderate cognitive impairment while others are unable to pick up on nonverbal social cues. Many people don’t realize autistic adults can be perfectly healthy and productive members of society and their disorder may barely impact their daily habits. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Fort Lauderdale families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.


Aging with Autism

Autistic seniors are often able to come up with a myriad of tools and skills to help them manage their condition. This might include creating a strict daily routine or living with a spouse who can help them with activities they find difficult. However, as these individuals grow older, some of their skills can be put in jeopardy. Their condition can be further complicated if they’re diagnosed with any additional disorders or health conditions. When these situations begin to develop, it can be very difficult for their caregivers as well. 

Families looking for top-rated homecare providers can reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.


Coexisting Conditions

Another major concern for autistic seniors is their increased risk of emotional health disorders. One study conducted by Kaiser Permanente researchers found that nearly half of all autistic seniors experience depression or anxiety. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that autistic seniors are five times more likely to commit suicide. These are just a few of the reasons seniors and their caregivers should work with experienced emotional health specialists. Failing to address these emotional issues can be devastating for all parties involved. Seniors diagnosed with autism should regularly meet with a counselor or therapist who can help them work through their thoughts and emotions.  


Helping Seniors with Autism

Many autistic seniors can benefit from a having a strict routine and familiar caregiver. Changing homes and caregivers may unnerve them, and it can take years before they’re comfortable in their new surroundings. It’s also important to make sure they’re socially stimulated. Autistic seniors have social needs similar to other adults, and isolation can worsen their disorder. Most of them enjoy interacting with a few select friends and family members in a quiet setting. Louder events with large crowds often confuse or scare them. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of senior home care Fort Lauderdale families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Reach out to us today to find out how we can assist you and your loved one.