“Autism offers us with a chance for us to glimpse an awe-filled vision of the world that might otherwise pass by”. – Colin Zimbleman
It is studied that seniors across the country deal with numerous physical and mental health conditions every day. Autism in seniors and understanding how it impacts their lives can help make a difference not just in the senior’s lives but also the families they belong to.
Key Takeaways :
- There is very little research available on older adults with autism, which can make understanding what they go through more unnoticed and difficult.
- Seniors with autism are more susceptible to challenges that many other adults don’t recognize as challenges such as financial struggles or health related discrepancies.
- Senior adults with autism have it more difficult in social settings when it comes to building relationships especially at a time when keeping up with social ties are heavily emphasized upon.
Possible Signs Of Autism In Senior Adults :
- Lack of social skills
- Behaviour repetition
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Obsessive interests
As per study, women with autism have more muted symptoms and chances are that they can live on with these symptoms undiagnosed even the later stages of their life.
Identifying autism in seniors can also be made more harder considering the differentiation of symptoms for each senior, gender wise.
Autism is a wide spectrum, if you actually look at that way. Certain individuals with autism may be intellectually challenged and yet be non-verbal. That said, its important to understand that autism by itself isn’t an illness and neither should be seen in that light.
The signs can vary as people change and evolve with age and autism becomes more ‘readable’ or identifiable so to speak. As adults, we tend to mask these symptoms due to societal pressure and instead choose to replicate acceptable common social behaviours to blend better only to avoid judgements and questions that comes with standing out.
Challenges Faced By Seniors With Autism :
While the stereotype is set and almost made an establishment when it comes to senior adults that health conditions of any kind can adversely affect them, it isn’t the always the case. Some seniors may face additional challenges while some don’t necessarily struggle going about with their day-to-day activities. This is where it becomes important to take note and underline that autism in seniors isn’t a debilitating condition. Some senior adults can lead a strong and independent approach to life while some seniors may experience a myriad of mood swings.
But the notable challenges are enlisted below :
- Financial – Savings especially during one’s retirement can be a hard phase to endure and can also contribute to anxiety in seniors. Some seniors with autism maybe more prone to spending money faster on hobbies and entertainment.
- Health – Seniors with autism are susceptible to health conditions such as heart, lung and diabetes.
- Social – Older adults with autism have a harder time forming and maintaining connections made socially.
One common and easy way for seniors to stay involved in communities, build connections socially and foster friendships is for their families to have a conversation which is kept open and judgement-free.
We are hoping this blog was informative enough for you and that the format was light enough for a read!
Athulya Assisted Living offers palliative and transition care services for elders in Chennai, Bangalore and Cochin, assisting seniors to live life independently without them having to step out their homes. Seniors with autism require a cartload of empathy, gentleness and compassion and these are attributes we at Athulya are proud torch-bearers of.
From us to your loved one, we are just a call away! Please feel free to reach us at 98849 45900 or write to us at : https://www.athulyaliving.com/