Addiction and Aging: Substance Abuse in Seniors Is Often Overlooked

June 6th, 2017 by John Wilson

When most people think of substance abuse issues, they think of teenagers and younger adults experimenting with drugs and falling into addiction. However, these aren’t the only age groups affected. In fact, there are seniors in assisted living care who have substance abuse issues as well, whether with prescription medications or other substances. Some seniors may also attempt to self medicate. For this reason, it’s important to pay close attention to your aging loved ones to identify signs of an addiction early.

Ask about addiction care with assisted living options.

Assisted living options should include addiction care.

Common Causes

Like other age groups, addiction in seniors is often fueled by an underlying cause. While some seniors in Oklahoma assisted living may become addicted to drugs or alcohol as a result of a medical issue, there are several other common reasons seniors may turn to this behavior. This can include the loss of a loved one, particularly a spouse, an unwanted move, retirement, concerns over their financial stability and more. If your loved one has gone through any of these major changes, spending more time with them can provide comfort and keep them from turning elsewhere for support.

Signs of Addiction in Seniors

It’s important to make sure you know what to look for so you can get your loved one the necessary help as quickly as possible. Some of the most common symptoms your loved one may experience include excessive memory loss, lack of hygiene, changes in appetite, irritability, depression and variances in sleeping habits. However, keep in mind many of these signs can also indicate the presence of other medical issues. Getting your senior loved one assisted living care as quickly as possible upon the onset of these and other unusual symptoms can help ensure they are cared for in the best possible manner.

Substance abuse isn’t something that only happens among the younger set. There are many seniors living in Oklahoma assisted living who also have issues, whether with prescription drugs or alcohol. Knowing what to look for and spending time with your loved one can help reduce the risks of developing an addiction, as well as identify the issues early to get them the help they need to overcome addiction early.

If you suspect your loved one is suffering from addiction while in our assisted living care, contact us. We will discuss the care of your loved one and help you take the right steps to get them any help they may need.

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