The number of veterans who are dealing with the effects of PTSD is staggering. The Department of Veteran Affairs estimates that about 30% of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, many others don’t seek treatment for fear that mental health issues would jeopardize their military careers. This can lead to dangerous behavior, such as substance abuse and suicide attempts, which become more prevalent among veterans than the general population.
However, when it comes to PTSD treatments for veterans in a senior care community in Gretna, LA, there may be some things that you don’t know.
Senior care communities provide many resources to help veterans with their challenges after their service ends. Let’s talk about the different types of PTSD treatments for veterans in a senior care community and how to find them:
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a disorder that can develop after someone experiences a traumatic event, such as military combat or sexual assault. It is normal for people who go through traumatic events to have upsetting memories, feel stressed out and scared, or worry about their safety. But if these feelings last longer than four weeks and interfere with your daily life-for example, you’re having trouble sleeping or concentrating on things you used to enjoy because of thoughts about the trauma-you may have PTSD.
If you think you might have PTSD, you must talk with your doctor or another health professional about it. If not treated, the symptoms of PTSD can last for years and worsen over time.
Who gets PTSD?
You may be wondering what types of people get PTSD. The answer is that anyone can develop this disorder, but some groups are more likely to suffer from it than others. People who have experienced a traumatic event in the past and those who have been exposed to violence, such as soldiers in combat zones or police officers on the beat, are at an increased risk for developing PTSD.
For example, A veteran who served his country during World War II could develop symptoms of PTSD when he sees something that reminds him of war (for example, loud noises or flashing lights). He might also experience flashbacks, where he feels like he’s back in battle again-these, which are called “combat memories.”
Symptoms of PTSD
- Relive the traumatic event repeatedly (in your thoughts or dreams). For example, you may constantly think about an accident you were involved in, or you may have nightmares about it.
- Avoiding things that remind you of the trauma. For example, if someone was sexually assaulted at work by their boss, they might avoid returning to work because they’re afraid of seeing him again. Or maybe an army veteran got injured during combat and won’t go into large crowds because he’s afraid he’ll get hurt again by an explosion or something dangerous around him during an attack on his base camp site.”
- Flashbacks or nightmares. A veteran suffering from PTSD may experience flashbacks and nightmares. These vivid memories of traumatic events can cause the person to relive the event as if it were happening all over again. Flashbacks may also occur when you least expect them, such as driving down the highway or sitting in church listening to a sermon.
- Intrusive, upsetting memories of the traumatic event. These memories may come at any time and can be triggered by something that reminds you of the event (e.g., hearing loud noises).
Treatments for PTSD
There are many different treatment modalities for PTSD. These include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on changing your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT can be helpful if you have a trauma history or are having problems with depression or anxiety.
- EMDR: Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) helps you process memories of past traumatic events by moving your eyes back and forth while recalling the experience in detail until negative emotions associated with the memory are reduced or eliminated. EMDR effectively treats PTSD in people who have experienced sexual abuse, loss of loved ones, and other traumatic events.
- Psychotherapy: Exposure therapy helps you face your fears by gradually exposing yourself to them in a safe environment. Medications may also help reduce symptoms but are not considered as effective as other therapies.
- Therapy: Therapy is a type of treatment that helps people talk about their problems and worries with a trained senior care professional. It can be done one-on-one or in groups, depending on your preference. In therapy, you’ll learn how to deal with situations that trigger your PTSD symptoms, so they don’t bother you as much anymore. You might also learn how to change unhealthy habits that make it harder to cope with life after military service. If necessary, some kinds of therapy may include EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) or cognitive behavioral therapy- both techniques used to treat trauma survivors such as those with PTSD.
How Can Senior Living Communities Help People With PTSD?
Senior living communities in Gretna, LA, can be an excellent resource for veterans with PTSD. The first step is determining what support and treatment options are available in your senior living community. You can contact the community staff and ask them what they do to help residents with mental health issues. Alternatively, ask other residents who have been there longer if they’ve noticed any changes in how their loved one has been doing since moving into the community. Some of these include:
- Providing a safe environment where residents can feel comfortable discussing their experiences and feelings.
- Offering programs designed specifically for veterans and other military personnel who have returned home from combat zones or other stressful environments. These programs include physical activity and social interaction opportunities such as games, crafts, and volunteer work within the community; they also may include trips outside the community into local neighborhoods or shopping centers (or even further away if desired). This helps build confidence in yourself and improve relationships with others around you- both essential components when dealing with PTSD symptoms!
- Additionally, residents in senior living communities have access to counselors and therapists who can help them work through whatever they’re going through. This will often include therapy sessions that focus on the resident’s relationship with their families and any other issues they might be facing.
If you or a loved one have PTSD and need help, we are here to assist. At SummerHouse Vista Shores, we understand that everyone is different and that no one-size-fits-all treatment plan exists. Our goal is to provide our residents with the best care possible so they can live their lives to the fullest extent possible.