Caring for an Elderly Addict

 “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”

Brad Meltzer

When it comes time to make the decision of whether your aging parent should stay in their home or move into a senior care facility, the stakes are already high. But when elderly substance abuse disorder (SUD) is also present, this burden becomes even more overwhelming.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption Among Seniors: A Growing Concern

In recent studies, researchers have discovered a dramatic rise in the consumption and misuse of alcohol among seniors. Alcohol is now the most frequently reported substance of abuse across all age groups 65 or older - contributing factor? Loneliness.

For elderly individuals, alcohol consumption can be particularly hazardous. This is due to multiple factors:

  • A decrease in tolerance for such beverages as we age

  • Greater prevalence of health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and heart problems

  • The heightened risk of adverse interactions between medication and alcohol intake.

As seniors typically rely on multiple medications to maintain their well-being, drinking any amount of alcoholic drinks could prove fatal.

Misuse of Medication Among the Elderly Population: An Overview

Seniors are particularly susceptible to prescription drug misuse and addiction. Nationwide research on individuals ranging from 57-85 years old revealed that a striking 37.1% of men, accompanied by 36% of women, were taking five or more medications at the same time.

What are the available solutions for providing care to an elderly individual struggling with addiction?

Dealing with elderly addiction should not be a source of shame or embarrassment - rather, it is an issue that can have miraculous outcomes when done so through love and understanding. Depending on the severity of their abuse or addiction, there are various ways to tend to your senior parent.

Charities or Foundations:

If your parents are struggling with addiction, reaching out to a local non-profit organization can be incredibly beneficial. These organizations offer support groups and counseling services that provide much-needed care and love while battling the difficult journey of addiction recovery. You don't have to face this alone! Invite your parents along too - they will not only benefit from these great resources but also feel less lonely in their fight against dependency.

The beauty of foundations is that they are often launched by individuals who have personally lived through a similar situation, thus making their mission deeply personal.

Therapies and Treatments

Taking a holistic approach to recovery is always the most natural way to heal and can be an effective solution for senior addicts who are struggling with Substance Use Disorder. Through gratitude, restorative treatments, and calming therapies, seniors will have more opportunities to successfully manage their addiction.

Senior Care or Rehabilitation Center

When facing adversity, compassion will always be the ultimate remedy. Let us all remember that each of us is doing their utmost to make things work for them in life's journey. Let that bring you comfort and faith. If it ever becomes too much for you to handle alone, there is always the option of Senior Care. Teams of experienced caregivers can be there, as you would be.

Distinguishing between a skilled nursing facility and a rehabilitation center may be essential when you are looking to ensure your senior loved one receives appropriate care.

What is a Senior Rehabilitation Center?

Alcohol and drug rehab centers are designed to offer comprehensive treatments for those afflicted with Substance Use Disorders (SUD). Some rehabilitation facilities specialize in treating a certain age group – these can include senior rehabilitation centers that focus on SUD care, whilst others focus on treating a specific addiction, like this Ibogaine clinic. Different treatment options are all available to help individuals overcome their addiction, like:

  • Behavioral counseling

  • Detoxification

  • Inpatient and outpatient programs

  • Dual diagnosis for co-occurring mental health conditions

When To Consider Assisted Living?

Assisted living communities prioritize the general well-being of seniors rather than addiction recovery. If a senior has conquered their substance use challenges and no longer needs extensive treatment, they may be perfect for an assisted living facility. The ideal candidate is still independent enough to go through most of the day without needing help from staff members.

Extra Tip: Take Care of Yourself Too (Not Only Your Parent)

Not only does the elderly addict require monitoring and support, but so too does their caregiver - be it a medical professional or loved one. Both are in need of psychological assistance as well as unconditional love.

To conclude, love and care are the best remedies for addiction, especially in the case of the elderly. It is important to remember that addiction can be a difficult journey for both parties involved - showing love, compassion, and understanding during this process is essential to helping your senior parent overcome any addiction. Before settling on a parent placement, take the time to make an informed decision that is best for your senior loved one. Remember to breathe and consider all available options carefully. Make sure to take time for yourself too - reach out for help if needed!

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