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Bi-Polar Disorder and the Elderly

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The problem once known as manic depression and now referred to as Bi-Polar disorder? has no real different treatment recommended in the medical research literature. There have only been a handful of reports out in the past year or so that address this problem and as with most studies the need for more and better studies has been noted.

The number one treatment for this disorder, especially with seniors, is a prescription of lithium or valporate, both mood stabilizers. This was noted in a presentation last year by Dr. Martha Sajatovic at a meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. She also noted that the treatment of the disorder for seniors mirrors that of the general population.

Diagnosis of this disorder can be important as it can mirror some symptoms of Alzheimer?s disease. An incident whereby the senior expresses anger and extreme agitation may not be a sign of Alzheimer?s or moderate cognitive impairment, but a manic episode.

Those who are helping a senior citizen with in home assistance cannot be expected to diagnose either condition. And if you are doing so and your charge is taking medication for this disorder a professional home health aide should be considered to help you with their care. Specialty care Services has a program that can come into the home of the senior you care for and analyze the current state of care you are offering. If there are any gaps noticed they can be explained to you, along with the steps to be taken to alleviate those gaps.

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