Rehab for Seniors

rehab for seniors

The U.S. Census Bureau states that, in 2012, there were 43.1 million adults over the age of 65, and this number is estimated to double by 2050, up to 83.7 million. Many of these senior citizens are members of the baby boomer generation – those born between 1946 and 1964. This generation grew up in a culture that was centered around free love and drug experimentation. However, some of our seniors are taking illicit drug and alcohol abuse with them into their advancing age.

Alcohol maybe the most prevalent substance abused in the older generation. The journal Psych Central reported that around 3 million seniors over the age of 65 battle alcohol abuse, and this number may jump to more than 6 million by the year 2020. This scary statistic reveals that a lot of our seniors need help. We must destigmatize talking about addiction and encourage our loved ones to seek treatment.

How Does Rehab Differ For Seniors?

It is somewhat surprising to learn that many seniors struggle with substance abuse. Isolation, loneliness, undiagnosed depression, stigma, and lack of mobility are some of the reasons a senior may deter from seeking treatment. Because of the aging of the baby-boom generation, it’s resulting in a very large increase in levels of illegal drug use among senior citizens (50+). By 2020, due to this increase in substance abuse, this age group will need double the amount of treatment services. 

That’s where age-specific addiction and senior rehab comes in. Although senior addiction treatment is similar to other types of treatment, certain factors are crucial aspects of an age-specific program. 

Addiction in older adults can be challenging to deal with due to how the body reacts as it ages. For example, let’s take a look at the detox process. Detox is the process of ridding your body of toxins accumulated through substance abuse and “getting clean”. 

Withdrawal symptoms are a serious side effect of the detox process. A younger person may not experience intense symptoms of withdrawal, while an older adult may have a much different experience.

Mental decline in older adults can also result in using a prescription drug more or less often than prescribed or in the wrong amount. Due to the differences of senior rehab, monitoring from trained medical professionals who specialize in addiction rehab for older adults is necessary. 

Understanding the Challenge of Addiction in Seniors

Each stage of life presents individuals with challenges as well as opportunities. For older adults, common obstacles to overall fulfillment include declining health, social isolation, grief, loss, family discord, and financial issues. Loneliness and isolation place seniors at high risk for emotional distress, physical discomfort, substance abuse, depression, and suicide. To intensify matters, older adults may be prescribed a myriad of medications that when mixed with alcohol or illicit drugs, can have lethal results.

Like others, seniors are often hesitant to seek treatment, or they simply don’t know where to go or what to do for help. Professional substance abuse treatment and community support can often relieve the pain and distress that many older adults struggle with on their own.

Sadly, addiction in older adults is often missed by family, friends, and even doctors or other medical personnel, partially because symptoms are often characterized as nagging physical pains, inability to sleep, or low energy. Symptoms of addiction in older adults are often seen as the unavoidable result of growing old; it is not common to think that it could be substance abuse.

Senior rehab is designed for the needs of senior citizens. Age-specific concerns are addressed and worked through to ensure a smooth foundation for the road to recovery.

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Addiction in Seniors

It can be a difficult task to notice drug or alcohol addiction in senior citizens. This is due to addiction being disguised as one of the physical and mental health challenges individuals face as they grow older. Educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of addiction in seniors can help you save a loved one.

If you are worried about someone close to you, there are some signs you can keep an eye out for. These signs include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of enjoyment of hobbies and activities
  • Isolation from closed ones 
  • Recurring need to be left alone
  • Taking more of the medication than is prescribed
  • Erratic sleeping and eating patterns
  • Anger, irritability, depression, or sadness
  • Other emotional changes
  • Drinking more alcohol than usual
  • Lack of personal hygiene or self-care
  • Abnormal bruises and chronic pain
  • Obsession with medication
  • Drug-related paraphernalia

Substance abuse can be conquered. There are many drug and alcohol treatment resources available, such as the ones in our facility. Regardless of where you choose to seek help, the fact that you’re seeking help in the first place is an incredible step.

We encourage you to take action as soon as possible. Drug and alcohol addiction worsens over time. Regain control and start the road to recovery today. Addiction doesn’t deserve to rob you or a loved one of another day. Senior rehab can help restore your excitement and joy for life. 

Addiction Treatment Process for Seniors

Our treatment targets physical dependence along with psychological addiction. Both types of dependence are crucial to address to recover from addiction. However, the first step of treatment is almost always a detox. This is when physical withdrawal from the drug occurs. That’s why we offer trained medical staff to monitor and care for your needs throughout the detox process.

As we naturally age, it is normal for certain health issues to arise. These health issues can become evident during a detox period. This is why it’s crucial to detox properly at a facility. Once a senior patient successfully detoxes from a substance, ongoing addiction therapy begins. Most often, seniors can anticipate working with addiction counselors both on a one-on-one basis and in group sessions. A combination of both is ideal on the road to recovery. 

Like other addiction treatment facilities, senior rehab is designed to cater to each unique patient. Everyone is different. Some find more success in working with an individual therapist in a private setting. Other seniors will find success by working in a group therapy setting.

Senior rehab programs also encourage the person’s family and other loved ones to get involved. Family therapy, in addition to individual and group therapy, help form a reliable foundation for substance abuse treatment.

Senior rehab will aim to address:

  • Age-specific addiction problems related to physical health, mental health, work, family structure, financial security, and more
  • Health and physical well-being concerns such as medication management, chronic pain, nutrition, sexual health, and more
  • The importance of rediscovering purpose and meaning in life
  • The stigma of addiction and the effects of shame on recovery

Treatment Components in Senior Rehab

A comprehensive treatment program for seniors should include a personalized plan to treat substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, and significant medical issues. The treatment program will incorporate components such as:

  • Supportive group therapy, daily, to discuss issues of bereavement, denial, anger, shame, and age-related loss and loneliness
  • Daily assessment by certified staff based on mobility and medical needs
  • Chronic pain management
  • Medication assessment to ensure appropriate prescription and dosage
  • A medically supervised detox performed on location
  • Psychological assessments and monitoring for improvement
  • Spiritual or religious counseling
  • Relapse prevention therapy
  • A comprehensive program for family members and caregivers that focuses on options for their self-care, which can significantly restore or improve relationships

Each plan will be tailored to our patient’s unique needs. We also offer a variety of amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible with us. We believe in treating the person, not just the disease.

Our focus is to lead you to a purpose-driven and long-lasting sober life.

Housing Structure, Activities, and What We Provide

To live a purpose-driven life, one must feel like a real functioning member of society. We don’t believe in isolation or a treatment program that completely blocks out the fun of life. 

We provide different supplements to our treatment programs such as:

  • All transportation to & from the clinical addiction treatment center, doctors’ appointments, 12 step meetings, house activities, the grocery store, and any other housing-sanctioned outings or activities
  • Develop an understanding of cleanliness and how it relates to recovery
  • Daily chores, weekend group cleanings
  • Budgeting and shopping for food, toiletries, and other personal household items
  • Accountability circles and house meetings
  • Weekend activities, including trips to Sedona, the Grand Canyon, bowling, movies, hiking, and swimming
  • Exercise and health: Opportunity to experience yoga, cross-fit, and other sporting activities
  • Communication: Each patient will experience the opportunity to get a job and learn to communicate with an onsite house manager to help plan and organize their day

We’re Waiting For Your Call!

No matter what stage of addiction you’re at, you can begin the road to recovery today. It’s never too late to improve yourself or seek help. You can give yourself the opportunity for a better tomorrow by putting in the work today.

Our philosophy is what drives us forward. We have observed that recovery is achieved through an intentional combination of biological support and neuro-regeneration, in conjunction with clinical care provided by a TRULY CARING, trained & certified professionals.  

Whether it’s you or a loved one struggling, one of our programs can help today. We tailor each program to the patient’s unique needs at our senior rehab. We encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions, comments or concerns. Contact us here.

References:

https://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p25-1140.pdf

https://psychcentral.com/news/2015/01/08/substance-abuse-in-the-elderly/79622.html

 

Article Reviewed by Gregory Struve

Gregory StruveGreg received a Master’s in Counseling from the Adler Graduate School in 2006. He trained at one of the top trauma and anxiety treatment centers in the world until 2008 when he became a faculty member at Grand Canyon University. From 2011 to 2016 he directed a program that leads the field in terms of innovative treatment of anxiety and trauma. During that time he even made several appearances on A&E’s intervention.