Coexisting conditions and medications play a role in ADHD care,
While ADHD has been widely studied in young people, the same is not true for the older population. It is important for clinicians treating this demographic to understand the unique challenges it poses as a result of existing comorbidities and medications already prescribed.
Cognitive decline, menopause-related cognitive impairment, sleep issues such as apnea, medications and polypharmacy, and depression that causes dementia-like symptoms can complicate an ADHD diagnosis in seniors.
Roughly half of adults 50 and over with an ADHD diagnosis also suffer from psychiatric comorbidities like anxiety disorders and many suffer from low self esteem. Added to that is the fact that approximtaely 76% of older adults are already taking medications for other conditions.
It is important to watch for drug interactions and be aware of any psychiatric medications a resident may be taking to ensure treatment of all conditions is properly addressed.
According to one study, 63% of older adults with ADHD use medication, predominantly stimulants and about 35% use non-pharmaceutical therapies like skills and behavior training.
It’s important to recognize the difference between ADHD and other medical conditions common in the older population and treat accordingly. “At SpecialtyRx we provide our clients with the medications they need to effectively treat their residents and we share our pharmacological knowledge whenever possible,” stated Joe Kubulak, Chief Operating Officer at SpecialtyRx.