PTSD Awareness Month

Posted on

Oct 05, 2021

To learn more aboutHighland Cove Retirement Living,CLICK HERE.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was first officially recognized in the 1980s. Many have now heard the term PTSD at some point. However, few can identify those suffering and the symptoms that impact them. With June being National PTSD Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to gain more understanding on the illness. When reflecting on our senior community, think of how many lived a huge portion of their lives without understanding, proper diagnosis, or treatment. This month, let us reemphasize the importance of mental health.
To understand PTSD, we must first understand trauma. Abuse, car accidents, loss of loved ones, or life-threatening careers are just a few of the many traumas one could experience. When a person is unable to process and heal from the traumatic event, PTSD can develop. Imagine how many of our senior population experienced childhood trauma, served during wartime, or experienced domestic abuse that was never addressed. For some of our veterans the war they fought never ends.
PTSD is an emotional or psychological wound manifesting itself in flashbacks, disassociations, sleep problems, nightmares, panic attacks, change in appetite, change in mood or behavior, and isolation. These symptoms can occur or increase when triggered by stimuli such as sights, smells, or sounds that remind the brain of the traumatic event. The person then has a physical and emotional response to feeling unsafe or threatened. Powerful emotions of fear, irritability, anger, or guilt can result. These symptoms can reoccur over a lifetime if the traumatic incident is never processed.
When caring for a senior who suffers from PTSD, there can be triggering moments which cause past emotional wounds to weep. It is important to remain empathetic and understand they are reacting to the brain reliving the most horrible part of their life. Do not take an emotional outburst personally. A senior could also have cognitive decline, which could worsen symptoms and increase confusion. It is important to learn known triggers and grounding techniques that work best for the individual. A grounding technique could be as simple as encouraging deep breathing or asking the individual to name items around them.
Families and care givers should communicate openly to create a care plan. There are options for treatment such as psychotherapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), medication, and holistic therapies.
Support groups can also be extremely beneficial. Many seniors rely on family members or care givers for their primary source of socialization. Those suffering from trauma may isolate those closest to them, worsening their depression. Being able to speak openly and relate to others who have similar traumatic experiences is a great start to healing.
I would like to encourage each of us to imagine what your day would look like if you struggled with PTSD. What event caused the traumatic response? What are some triggers you could encounter on a typical day? If the event were serving during wartime, some of your triggers could be seeing a news report of an attack, hearing loud noises, the smell of fire, or the feel of sand in your clothes. With that in mind, think of how you can aid someone struggling today.
It is important to know that you do not have to deal with trauma alone. There are options for treatment such as psychotherapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), medication, holistic therapies, and grounding techniques. What works best for one person may not be the best option for another. It is important to explore treatment options and find what works best for the present symptoms. During my time working in mental health, I saw many begin treatment at the lowest point of their lives. What astounded me was how they rose to be hopeful healing people after they had the opportunity to process their pain in a safe environment and learn positive coping mechanisms. Above all, it is important to have faith over fear that you can overcome trauma!

Other Articles You May Like

Common Running Injuries & Symptoms

Running is very accessibleit doesn't require any special equipment or a gym membershipwhich is why so many individuals decide to do it. Running can take a toll on the body, especially when the body is not used to the training or the training intensity changes too much in a short period of time. Injuries are more likely to occur when running without the proper warm-up or attire.Listed below are some common injuries that runners may face, as well as signs and symptoms to look out for.Plantar FasciitisThe plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes. It supports the arch at the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia tissue that links the heel to the base of the toes becomes inflamed. One of the main symptoms of plantar fasciitis is pain in the heel, especially after exercise or first thing in the morning.Achilles TendonitisThe achilles tendon is the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles at the back of the leg to the heel bone. Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury to the achilles tendon. Symptoms can include a mild to severe ache or pain in the back of the leg or above the heel. Tenderness and stiffness in the morning, which gets better with activity, can also occur.IT (Iliotibial) Band SyndromeThe IT band is a thick band of tissue (ligament) that runs on the outside of the leg; it starts at the hip and extends to the outer side of the shinbone below the knee joint. IT band syndrome occurs when the band of tissue gets swollen and irritated from rubbing against the hip or knee bone. Symptoms can include hip or knee pain, redness, and warmth around the outside of the knee. The symptoms may start after exercise, and as they worsen, you will feel pain during exercise and during rest periods.Runners KneeRunners knee is a dull and aching pain that is felt behind the knee cap, especially where it meets the femur. Symptoms of runner's knee can include swelling, popping or grinding of the knee, and pain around or behind the knee.Ankle SprainAnkle sprains are one of the most common injuries that occur at all ages and at all activity levels. Ankle sprains occur when the ankle ligaments are stretched beyond their limits and tear. Sprains can range from a tiny tear to a complete tear of the ligament. Symptoms of ankle sprains can include swelling, pain, bruising, tenderness, and instability of the ankle.FracturesFractures are breaks or cracks in a bone. There are different kinds of fractures and different severities. Symptoms of fractures can include swelling, bruising, tenderness, or deformity. Fractures can occur in most bones; the most common area for fractures to occur in runners is in the foot or ankle.If you are experiencing any of the conditions or symptoms listed above, please call our office at 239 - 325 - 4090 to schedule an appointment for evaluation.

The #1 Exercise to Do as You Get Older

Often the hardest part of doing something new is getting started, and that's especially true about exercise. This article from AARP makes it easy to get started with the most important exercise to help you age healthy: squats. Five or ten squats are easy to do while you wait for the coffee to brew or the microwave to finish heating.Even when we're healthy we sometimes need a little extra help with the house or errands. Visit our website at to learn more about how Rose Hill Stay-at-Home Services can help you or a loved one stay in independent and at home.

What to Look for When Visiting Older Adults During the Holidays

For many families, the holidays are the only time they have to spend together, and COVID-19 has made that more challenging. Phone calls and emails are great ways to connect with loved ones from afar, but the distance can make it hard to notice changes in a persons appearance or surroundings that could indicate they need help. During socially-distanced, masked visits or on video chat, families should pay attention to: The Condition of the HomeIs it messier or more cluttered than usual?Is there spoiled food in the refrigerator or cupboards?Are bills not being paid on time?Are household goods being put away in the wrong places?The Persons ConditionDo they have unexplained weight loss?Are they wearing clothes that are dirty or inappropriate for the weather?Are they having trouble with toileting or basic hygiene such as showering or brushing their teeth?Have they fallen recently?Do they appear to be off-balance?Are they having difficulty sleeping?The Persons BehaviorsAre they missing scheduled medical visits or telehealth appointments?Are they forgetting to refill prescriptions or take medications as prescribed?Do they seem confused when you talk to them about topics theyd normally understand?Are they exhibiting any personality changes or mood swings?These sorts of deficits could be a sign that they need extra help. At ComForCare Home Care, we understand the challenges that can arise with aging. Home care can help older adults continue to live independently in their own home and do all the things they love. Contact us today to learn more about how we help people live their best lives possible. Please call us with any questions, 720-575-5576.