What Health Risks Do Autistic Seniors Face?

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What Health Risks Do Aging Adults with Autism Face?

By Carolina Orosa, 9:00 am on

Caring for a loved one with autism doesn’t end when he or she reaches adulthood. Autism typically requires some level of care throughout life, and seniors with the condition face a higher risk of developing additional physical and mental health issues. Family caregivers should keep the following risks in mind when providing the type of live-in or part-time care Vancouver seniors with autism need.

Psychological Disorders

Older adults who are diagnosed with autism are more likely to have a psychological disorder, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. There are many factors that can increase the risk of one or more of these disorders, including being socially isolated from others. When providing home care in Vancouver for a senior loved one with both autism and a psychological disorder, you should discuss treatment options with his or her doctor to help manage the symptoms of each disorder. 

High Blood Pressure

Researchers have found seniors with autism have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, which can raise the risk of heart disease and other health issues. Since it’s common for seniors with autism to be selective in what they eat, your loved one may end up having a diet filled with unhealthy fatty foods that clog the arteries, which leads to the development of high blood pressure.

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Studies have shown older adults with autism have a higher incidence of gastrointestinal disorders. Autistic seniors don’t always eat nutritionally balanced meals, and they might also experience high levels of stress due to their sensitivity to noise and other factors. This can lead to gastrointestinal disorders that cause nausea, diarrhea, constipation, gas, or other symptoms.

Sleep Disorders

Autism in older adults can result in trouble falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep. While sleep problems become more common as adults grow older, those with autism have an even higher risk of developing disorders like insomnia. This can make it difficult for your loved one to get the rest he or she needs to ease anxiety and help manage symptoms of autism.

If your loved one has autism and needs help managing his or her health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to helping seniors with a variety of other conditions, we are also a leading provider of dementia and Alzheimer’s care Vancouver families trust. Many of the same mentally and socially stimulating activities found in our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method may also be helpful for a senior with autism, especially because these activities help build new routines to look forward to. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified Case Managers, call 778-279-3634 today.