On-Demand Webinars

Free Webinar Replay: ADHD Over 50: Old Age, ADHD, or Something Else?

In this hour-long webinar-on-demand, learn about diagnosing ADD in seniors with David W. Goodman, M.D., FAPA.

A note about this webinar: This webinar is designed for ADHD clinicians, but open to adults with ADHD. Although all are welcome to view the replay, non-clinicians may want to notify the professionals with whom they work of this opportunity and share the audio and slide materials.

ADHD is a lifelong disorder, but it is not identified or diagnosed by clinicians in older adults as often as it should be. ADHD is also highly genetic, running through generations of a family. Baby Boomers grew up at a time when ADHD was hardly considered a plausible diagnosis. As a result, older adults with signs of forgetfulness and distractibility today may fail to realize that these lifelong symptoms are really ADHD.

Why is it important to diagnose and treat ADHD in older adults who have lived with it their whole lives? Because an effective treatment plan can alleviate debilitating symptoms like working memory and executive function deficits, not to mention its impact on secondary conditions like depression and anxiety. Clinicians today better understand the idiosyncrasies and challenges of diagnosing ADD in seniors, and they know that it’s never too late to make real, lasting improvements in a person’s health and quality of life.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  1. how to identify and understand ADHD symptoms in adults over age 50
  2. the importance of an accurate diagnosis in older adults who are experiencing mental changes
  3. why clinicians don’t consider that ADHD might be the reason for “thinking problems” in older adults
  4. signs that clinicians and older adults should be aware of in the diagnosis process
  5. how stimulants might fit into a treatment regimen for adults who are taking multiple medications
  6. how medication and organizational skills can improve daily functioning and quality of life
  7. how to approach a parent who you suspect has had lifelong inattention and disorganization

Webinar replays include:

  • Slides accompanying the webinar
  • Related resources from ADDitude
  • Free newsletter updates about ADHD

This ADHD Experts webinar was first broadcast live on May 1, 2018.

Meet the Expert Speaker:

David W. Goodman, M.D., FAPA, is an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and an internationally recognized expert on ADHD in adults. Dr. Goodman has been a principal investigator for ADHD clinical trials, authored 30-plus peer-reviewed scientific publications and presented over 600 lectures to clinicians. Goodman maintains a full-time clinical practice. For more information, visit www.ADDadult.com.

13 Comments & Reviews

  1. You may address this in the webinar, but do the symptoms of ADHD get worse in seniors? I am 59 years old (diagnosed at 40) and it seems in the past couple of years, things have gotten worse, particularly the emotional elements. My ex-wife asked me about it after we split up. I would have explosive episodes of anger (mostly directed at myself i.e., at my ADHD) that I never directed at her but they still scared her.

    1. At 60 and not yet diagnosed i actually retired and sold my consulting business because i was doing exactly the same, far more often than in the past. Though one of
      My three divorces was due to an eruption at my second wife 7 years earlier these were mostly at work at suppliers and other orgs i worked with.
      I have learned since that this is Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria RSD and Doctor Dodson is the expert at Additude RSD is very common to us ADHDers at rates in the 90% of . There are several articles on it by him on this website but i dont recall one dealing with it increasing with age.
      This one yesterday …..SelfTest Could you have RSD by Devon Frye reviewed by Dr William Dodson

      3 Defining Features of ADHD That Everyone Overlooks Dr Dodson comments on this one and explains what RSD is

      There are others.

  2. I have been diagnosed with ADD, I am 55. When my father, he is 87 and has a pacemaker, asked about ADD his doctor said he would entertain giving him medication. I take Adderall and it helps, I think it would help him. I realize that you don’t have his full medical history and there might be other issues. But my dad reports that the doc said it was not based on his specific medical history, the doctor just won’t do it. In general, is this an uninformed doctor? Or is this common? I am often perplexed by the number of professional and non-professional people that this ADD is a fake issue. Thx in advance.

  3. I’ve been dealt a triple-whammy of cognitive challenges. ADHD at 32, breast cancer at 33, total hysterectomy at 38. ADHD, chemobrain and “mental-pause”. (I’m currently 50.) Rx of 20mg Vyvanse for 2 years.

    1.) Where can I find information on research studies or clinical trials being conducted (or completed and reporting findings) on how loss of estrogen does/does not exacerbate ADHD in women?

    2.) Where can I find opportunities to serve as a consumer reviewer for research grants? I’ve often reviewed federal breast cancer research grants and am interested in also being involved with review of ADHD research grants a the federal or national level.

    Thank you.

    (FYI for ADDitude Web Editors: I’ve played roller derby competitively for 10 years. At 50 years old am in no way, shape, or form a “senior” as the tab title above would imply. Neener-neener.)

  4. My husband is ADHD and also is borderline bipolar and has a family history of both. He is on 150mg lamotrigine but the ADHD symptoms are having a far more detrimental affect on our marriage. He has tried Strattera with no results, in fact seemed more irritable, but had no patience with trying a bunch of different meds, and his doc is hesitant to try the stimulants. He only went to the doc because I kept asking him to do so. What would you suggest would be an effective course of action? Are the meds that work well with lamotrigine?

    I feel like sometimes with keeping up with him and his forgetfulness and irritability that I, too, might be ADD. He’s 69 and has had this most of his life from the sounds of it, ands I am 62 and used to be called spacey and easily distracted as kid, but the forgetfulness and disorganization has just started in the last years it seems. This is his 3rd marriage, my 2nd.
    Also, any suggestions for getting him to keep trying different needs would be welcome, too.

    1. theglobalnomad –
      Currently 65 and diagnosed at 62 with ADHD. Former doctor prescribed Strattera and it “worked” but I dealt with increased anxiety and occasional panic attacks. I stayed on Strattera for over a year and disliked it so much, I quit meds and tried nutritional interventions. About 6 months ago, I changed doctors and started on Adderal and it is a game changer. Much more focused, no mood swings, more productive at work, I couldn’t be more satisfied with a medication.
      Like so many others, 1) I wish I had been diagnosed earlier. The hoops you have to jump through to see a psychiatrist are ridiculous and are a barrier to managing your health. Work, academics, etc. could have been so much better with an earlier diagnosis, 2) Looking forward to more people recognizing that we are not making excuses, but that ADD/ADHD is a real thing that one does not grow out of.

  5. Creativity Balance
    As a 57 year young research engineer who suspects I have ADHD, I sought a diagnosis from a psychiatrist prepared to work with this condition. She’s asked for some cognition testing with a neuro-psychologist as she’s concerned about prescribing stimulants if the problem’s something else, given my age and the attendant heart risks (I’m a fairly fit Aikido instructor but a little overweight).

    My concern is more about the potential negative impacts on my creativity and ability to link ideas in novel ways – a hallmark of my work with clients and in the innovation space I do some work in. Have there been any studies on how medication or CBT affects creativity in those with ADHD?

  6. I’d heard recently about psychiatrists who have identified which brain structures are under- or over-developed or -stimulated as the root cause of their variety of ADHD / ADD. From that they can prescribe specific cocktails of medications to address the problems in a more targeted, and so effective way.

    Is this the current “best practice” as some therapists I’ve found seem to bluntly diagnose the condition by prescribing amphetamines and seeing if the symptoms are relieved (as reported by the patient).

    Are brain scans (fMRI for example) used to diagnose ADHD and the variety involved?

  7. My family has been working with a wonderful psychologist who tries to avoid using the term ADHD. He feels it’s a catchall phrase that describes symptoms of a condition not the condition itself.

    Given the evolution of knowledge in recent years, do you think it would serve the community to identify ADHD as something else? Executive function disorder or something like that? Would it better help people without the condition understand those who do have it?
    Thank you for the seminar.

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