When you hear the word schizophrenia, you may think it is a condition that only affects younger adults. Although it’s true that schizophrenia is usually diagnosed in younger years, it can also be diagnosed in middle-aged adults and even in people who are over the age of 65.
In addition, schizophrenia is a life-long mental health condition, which means that some family caregivers find themselves responsible for aging adults with schizophrenia. If you’ve recently begun caring for someone with schizophrenia, learning more about the condition may make you more comfortable with your new role.
Schizophrenia is a kind of mental health condition that makes people interpret what’s going on around them in unusual and abnormal ways. They are sometimes unable to decipher reality. A person with schizophrenia might have hallucinations or be delusional. Their behavior and thinking can be disordered to the point that it makes them unable to complete normal tasks. The condition can be disabling.
Schizophrenia needs professional treatment as early on as possible. Early intervention can help to bring symptoms under control and prevent more serious problems. It can also make the prognosis better.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
People with schizophrenia don’t all experience the same symptoms, so you may notice differences between the aging adult in your life and other people who have schizophrenia. Some possible symptoms are:
Delusions: Most people with schizophrenia have delusions. These are mistaken thoughts or beliefs that are not in line with reality. For example, the person might think that they have some sort of extraordinary ability or that someone is out to get them.
Hallucinations: A hallucination occurs when the person senses something that isn’t happening. They might see something that isn’t there or has physical sensations, such as something crawling on them. The most common kind of hallucination that occurs with schizophrenia is hearing voices.
Disorganized Thoughts and Behaviors: A person whose thoughts are disorganized will have trouble expressing themselves. They might use words that don’t make sense or partially answer a question with information that makes no sense. Their behaviors may also be disorganized. They may act in childish ways or do unpredictable things.
Negative Symptoms: A person with negative symptoms has lost some of their ability to function. They may stop caring for themselves so that their personal hygiene suffers. They might also seem like they have no emotions because they don’t look at people or have no inflection when speaking.
Caring for someone with schizophrenia isn’t an easy job. If you could use some help, consider contacting an elder care agency to discuss ways an elder care provider can help. Elder care providers can assist with keeping your aging relative safe when you cannot be with them because of work or other obligations. An elder care provider can help with day to day tasks, like cleaning, cooking, laundry, and reminding the senior to take medications.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care in Atlanta, GA, please call the caring staff at Always Care Nursing Service today.
Call for Assistance: (404) 266-8773 or (800) 989-7828
Administrator of 3 Florida (Always Care) Home Health Agencies for over Fourteen years.
Always Care of Georgia since 2001
Served as a 1st Lt. In the US Army
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