Rehabilitation for the Elderly
The Elderly and Alcohol Abuse
One of the secret shames of our society is the often shabby treatment we show our elderly citizens. Often left alone and unloved by family members, elderly individuals have a high incidence of alcohol abuse that largely goes unnoticed.
Senior citizens develop drinking problems to cope with loneliness and despair, to grieve over the loss of a loved one, or to cope with the pain while recovering from an injury.
Why is rehab for the elderly so important?
Why has this problem gone unnoticed? As a country, we have a tendency to forget about our elder citizens. What happens to them does not always impact our lives and as such, we let their problems occur with action or response.
- They are not interacting with law enforcement. Few older Americans go out to bars or restaurants and drink heavily. Instead, many drink alone in the privacy of their own homes -which keeps them from getting the help they need.
- There is no risk of losing their job. Since most senior citizens are retired, their problem drinking does not affect them in the work place – another factor that keeps the issue shrouded in secrecy.
- And there are some serious risks specifically associated with alcoholism and the elderly. Memory blackouts can occur while operating the oven or other appliances at home -which could lead to a fire. Impairment while driving is ALREADY a concern among older people, and made much scarier when one adds alcohol into the mix.
What you need to know about rehab programs and the elderly
You need to watch for the warning signs just as you would a younger binge drinker. Is the elderly person in question drinking alone? Drinking at all hours of the day? Medicating themselves with alcohol? These are the questions you must ask yourself as you decide whether or not to seek treatment.
You can’t simply place an elderly person into a mainstream facility -while many may be able to help them, they might not get the help that is specific to their needs, and the rigors of the program might be too much for them physically and mentally.
Remember also, that many alcohol problems can be avoided simply by caring -by taking the time to open up time in our lives for older relatives. By providing comfort and emotional care, you will be filling a void that many seniors are currently filling by alcohol consumption.
Treatment at Michael’s House helps the elderly patient get through the difficult times brought on by alcohol abuse. We provide a safe haven for those older individuals recovering from alcohol addiction.
We understand their special needs, and we are ready to help!
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