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Can PTSD Get Worse with Age?

Senior Care in Mt. Laurel NJ: Can PTSD Get Worse with Age?

Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that can affect people who have been through a traumatic situation. Many people associate it with veterans who have been to war. Around 8 percent of people experience PTSD symptoms at some point during their lives. People who have served in the military have a higher prevalence of up to 17 percent. As people age, new symptoms of PTSD can appear, or symptoms can change. Understanding how aging affects PTSD can make it easier to assist your aging relative.

How Age Affects PTSD

As people age, there are several factors that can affect PTSD symptoms. Some of them are:

  • Retirement: When a person retires, they often have more time to think about traumatic events that have occurred. Because they no longer work, they have fewer distractions from negative thoughts and feelings.
  • Stress: Stress brought on by changes that come with age can make PTSD worse. Some things that might cause stress in an older adult are health conditions, losing a spouse or other loved ones, having less income, and being isolated.
  • Media: In today’s world, it can be hard to get away from media coverage of terrible events going on in the world. Media coverage of wars or other tragedies may trigger flashbacks.

Recognizing PTSD in Seniors

Identifying PTSD in older adults can be difficult because the symptoms may not manifest in the same way they do for younger people. For example, a younger person is more likely to feel depressed or guilty while an older adult is more likely to have trouble sleeping or remembering things. Some of the symptoms of PTSD in seniors might also be mistaken simply for aging, such as:

  • Trouble with concentration.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Trouble getting to sleep or remaining asleep.
  • Mood changes, such as irritability.

One of the ways that seniors often deal with PTSD is through avoidance. They may try to stay away from people and places that remind them of the traumatic event. They might also stop engaging in activities they once enjoyed. This can lead to isolation, which can put their physical and mental health at risk.

Hiring a senior care provider through an agency can help to prevent social isolation in older adults. Senior care providers are, themselves, a point of social contact. In addition, a senior care provider can encourage an older adult to remain social engaged by driving them to activities. Senior care providers can also assist older adults to entertain guests in their home by helping them keep the house tidy and preparing refreshments.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Mt. Laurel, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.

Patti Maltese and Kelly McCabe

Founders, and Co-Owners at TLC Home Care Services
Patti is a founding partner and co-owner of TLC and has been in the staffing industry for many years both as an Office manager, recruiter, client specialist, and sales rep. She has previously staffed nurses for the state of NJ in state facilities and currently maintains her CHHA license to date. She has a Bachelors Degree in Communications and oversees the daily operations of TLC. She recently graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10KSB program for business owners in Phila. and the relationships and knowledge from that program has helped her to take TLC to the next level in multiple ways. She is a mother to 2 daughters and a grandmother to 2 girls as well.She resides in Mt. Laurel and loves advocating for seniors and has performed in “Dancing with The Cherry Hill Stars” fundraiser for education.

Kelly C. McCabe is a founding partner and co-owner of TLC HomeCare Services.She and her business partner,Patti Maltese founded TLC HomeCare Services in March of 2009.In addition to management, marketing and sales, staffing and recruiting, Kelly holds her New Jersey producer’s license in Health and Life insurance and is also a New Jersey Certified Home Health Aide.Kelly is the proud mother of two daughters and is a resident of Moorestown, NJ.