Senior Care in Broadview MT: Bipolar Disorder and Elders: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment


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Bipolar Disorder and Elders: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Senior Care in Broadview MT

Senior Care in Broadview MTWatching an elderly loved one suffer from any health condition can be extremely difficult, and bipolar disorder is no different. As much as you want to be there for them and ease their symptoms of this disease, there is nothing you can do help cure them. Bipolar disorder affects people of all ages, but approximately 10 percent of adults over the age of 50 are diagnosed with this condition.

If your loved one does have bipolar disorder, they may need a senior care provider to remind them when to take their medication and help them carry on with their everyday tasks. Understanding what symptoms to look for will give you a better idea of whether or not this condition is something you should be concerned about.


Someone with bipolar disorder will feel like they are on top of the world one minute, and as if they had hit rock bottom the next. Watch for the following symptoms if you feel your loved one may have this disorder. 

  • Confusion
  • Easily distracted
  • Obsessive behavior
  • Hyperactivity
  • Diminished cognitive abilities, like judgement, decision-making, problem-solving, and perception
  • Long-lasting sadness
  • Feeling as though everything surrounding them is slowing down
  • Decreased appetite, resulting in weight loss
  • Constantly fidgeting and unable to sit still
  • Physical pain or discomfort, like gastrointestinal problems
  • Problems sleeping
  • Socially withdrawn
  • Feelings of helplessness or as if moving is an effort
  • No longer interested in their favorite hobbies

The symptoms may be more severe and frequent than those found in younger adults. Fortunately, there are some treatment options available to relieve the elder of their symptoms. 


Once you have your suspicions that your loved one has bipolar disorder, it is time to get a proper diagnosis that will let you know for sure. The senior’s doctor will most likely want to run a full medical exam and may have a number of questions about the elder’s past health history. These questions may have something to do with their family history of mental illnesses, what prescription and over-the-counter medications they have been taking, and what health complaints the elder may have had in the past. This in-depth exam will give the physician a better idea of whether the elder has bipolar disorder or if there is another medical condition at work.


Medication will most likely be recommended for your elderly loved one. However, older adults metabolize medications at a different rate compared to young adults, so they may need different dosages. There is constantly research being conducted on the effects of lithium and anti-seizure medications to determine how affective it would be for the elder.

Hopefully this information helps you and your loved one get the medical attention needed to help them live a productive life.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Broadview, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 406-839-2390.

Shanna Tourtlotte

Shanna Tourtlotte has been the owner of SYNERGY HomeCare Billings since 2011.

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