Tips for Seniors with ADHD, including Ways to Stay Organized
If you are a senior in rehabilitation, and you have ADHD, you have a responsibility to upkeep your ADHD regimen. Every patient, including seniors with ADHD, hopes to leave the rehab center better than when they came in, having kept up the treatment for any co-existing medical condition.
In many cases, treatment includes medication management and use of supportive equipment. In the case of seniors with ADHD, medication management applies, but the supportive equipment may not be physical. For example, support for ADHD may be in the form of helping with being organized.
Diagnosing and Living with ADHD
It is not easy for a doctor to diagnose ADHD which began in one’s senior years, since it could easily be misdiagnosed as mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Additionally, for a number of reasons, doctors are not excited to begin prescribing stimulants to the over 60’s. This leads to the seniors putting up with the symptoms of ADHD but not being able to do much about it medically.
If, however, a senior had ADHD symptoms over the years, or was actually diagnosed when they were younger, then they know more about what they are dealing with.
Keith Kosierowski, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach is encouraging. He points out that most seniors can manage their ADHD, with a combination of medication and managing techniques.
Many positive thinkers refer to people who have ADHD as being “more”. This means, more creative, more capable and more colorful. So we will call them “super seniors”, in deference to their needing more support than the average senior in certain areas.
10 Tips and Techniques for Super Seniors in Rehab
1. Medication Reminders
2. Being Organized
Use a digital organizer or your smartphone to help you stay organized – in rehab, its not only about taking medicine, it’s also about going to therapy appointments on time, remembering to make appointments, packing the right gear for a therapy session and so on.
3. The Name of the Game
Put your name on your possessions, that way, if items get lost, they will find their way back to you. Some hospitals and rehab centers issue patients with a sheet of stickers with their personal details on it. This can be a great help towards not misplacing items.
4. Eat, Drink, and be Managed
5. Spill the ADHD Beans
Even if it is a little embarrassing, it sometimes helps to tell staff or the therapist that you have ADHD. People are often very understanding and supportive. Many overworked staff members can identify with the challenges of staying organized and remembering everything.
6. Time is Everything
Invest in an easy-to-read watch and remember to look at it sometimes. Being aware of the time will help you keep to a regular schedule. This is especially important if you are an in-patient in a rehab center or in post-acute rehab after being released from hospital.
7. Lifestyle Changes
Maybe, being in rehab will give you time to think about your lifestyle. Sometimes, making a change away from a fast-paced lifestyle to a more relaxed routine, will have built-in health benefits.
8. Forgetfulness in ADHD-ers
If you often forget names of people or things, write them down or ask the staff to write them for you.
9. Conversation Slip-ups
If you have trouble keeping track of a conversation, ask the other person to repeat what they said, plan to keep the conversation short or get a written summary. This may be a great help for example when the doctor or surgeon makes their visit. Another idea that is becoming popular: ask if you can record the conversation so that you can listen to it again later.
10. Keeping in touch
Add a reminder to make a call or be ready for a visit from a loved one. Reminders can be on a sticky note, a digital device, a phone or through a phone call from a friend.
ADHD and Super Seniors
Some people say that ADHD might become more intense with age. One reason could be since seniors deal with other age-related challenges at the same time. On the other hand, seniors really do have an extra slice of wisdom. You can use it to your advantage.
Use these tips to overcome barriers that you never thought you could.
Let’s give three cheers for seniors with ADHD, the super seniors!