Senior Health: ADHD After 65

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ADHD doesn’t just affect children. It is a problem for seniors, too, although it’s often overlooked and under-diagnosed. Learn more about how ADHD affects those over 65 from Home Care Assistance of Caledon.

Undiagnosed ADHD

Before ADHD became widely recognized in children, children with ADHD simply struggled with the undiagnosed condition throughout life and grew into adults. Today, many seniors are finally being diagnosed. Often, they seek diagnosis and treatment only after a grandchild is diagnosed. Since the condition runs in families, if any member of a family is diagnosed with ADHD, others who have ADHD-like conditions should consider consulting a professional for an evaluation.

Symptoms of ADHD

The symptoms of ADHD in seniors differ somewhat from those noticed in children. The prominent symptom in seniors is inattentiveness, often combined with disorganization and difficulty completing tasks. Because seniors have struggled with ADHD for so long, most have found ways to cope with the problem and achieve some limited success in careers and relationships, but many reach retirement feeling like they under-achieved.

Other Causes of ADHD-Like Symptoms in Seniors

Diagnosing ADHD in seniors can sometimes be difficult because many other conditions can cause similar symptoms, such as reactions to medications or the onset of mild cognitive impairment. Depression and anxiety, both of which disproportionately affect seniors, can also mimic ADHD in some people. One important clue to keep in mind is that ADHD has an onset in childhood, so if a senior’s symptoms have developed recently, it is unlikely to be ADHD.


Treatment primarily consists of medication. There are a number of highly effective medications that can quickly control ADHD and improve an afflicted senior’s quality of life. Behavioural therapy can also help seniors manage their symptoms without the risk of side effects from medications.

If ADHD or another condition makes completing important everyday tasks challenging for your senior loved one, find the help he or she needs and deserves through Home Care Assistance. Our flexible part-time home care in Caledon is ideal for seniors who need minimal help throughout the week with tasks like transportation to appointments, grocery shopping and cooking, and medication management. To learn more, reach out today at 905-951-8885 and request a complimentary in-home consultation.