Alcohol Rehab for Seniors

Alcohol addiction doesn’t discriminate based on age. Even if an individual had never previously struggled with addiction, the unique challenges that come with entering the golden years can play a role in elderly alcohol abuse. Many times, because older adults are often more isolated than younger individuals, their issues can go unnoticed or unreported. But it is a serious concern that must be addressed.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), roughly 17% of adults over the age of 65 struggle with alcohol or prescription drug abuse.

While addiction is addiction, elderly alcohol abuse may not look the same in older individuals. That’s why it is crucial to recognize the symptoms of elderly alcohol abuse so you can get them help through alcohol rehab for seniors.

We Can Help

Unique Challenges Senior Adults Face That Could Increase the Risk of Alcohol Abuse

rehab for seniors

Getting older is a privilege not everyone gets to experience, but it can also come with its share of struggles. There are several distinctive challenges seniors may encounter that may increase their risk of developing an addiction to alcohol. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Physical health problems: Chronic pain or other health issues can be common among older adults. This could lead to misusing alcohol as a coping mechanism.
  • Isolation and loneliness: One of the most difficult aspects of entering the senior years is the lack of connection many seniors feel. Their families may have moved away or are busy with their own families, and friends may have passed away or moved as well. Many older individuals also struggle with mobility issues, so getting out and seeing people is hard, even if given the opportunity. To cope with the loneliness, seniors may turn to alcohol in an attempt to soothe themselves.
  • Losing a sense of purpose after retirement: Retiring from work is exciting. But after a while, when older adults have a lot of time on their hands and not much to fill the hours with, they can get bored and feel like they don’t have a purpose in life. (Which obviously isn’t true.) Some may fill those hours with alcohol rather than finding new, fulfilling hobbies or social circles.
  • Loss of loved ones: Of course one of the difficulties in getting older is losing people you love. The older you get, the more likely you’ll feel loss. Many people attempt to assuage the pain they feel from loss with alcohol, and the senior population is no different.
  • Psychological issues: The stress and life changes that can be involved when getting older can lead to mental health concerns like geriatric depression, anxiety, and more. As you can imagine, addiction and mental health concerns feed off of one another. So if a senior adult in your life battles depression, they are more prone to developing addiction. And becoming addicted to alcohol in no way helps ease depression.

Our Alcohol Rehab in San Diego

Symptoms of Elderly Alcohol Abuse

You may be aware of some of the many symptoms of alcohol abuse such as hiding alcohol consumption, putting others at risk, increased tolerance, and blacking out. But there are some symptoms of elderly alcohol abuse you may mistake for signs of aging. It’s vital to not shrug off any of the following symptoms for any reason, especially if an older loved one in your life is struggling with alcohol addiction. 

While these may be associated with aging, they can also be an indicator of elderly alcohol addiction:

  • confusion, memory loss, and slurred speech
  • mood changes, hostility, and loss of interest in activities
  • drinking regularly – particularly when isolated from others
  • not caring for themselves 
  • combining alcohol with medications
  • getting hurt more frequently (due to intoxication)
  • choosing to isolate from others more frequently

Because older individuals often have a shrinking social circle, there may be fewer people watching out for addiction symptoms. That’s why it’s essential to stay connected with older loved ones, so you can spot red flags and get them into alcohol rehab for seniors as soon as possible.

Dangers of Alcohol Abuse in Seniors

Dangers of Alcohol Abuse in Seniors

Alcohol addiction is costly for people of any age. However, older adults put themselves in even greater physical and mental danger when addicted to alcohol. Those dangers include the following:

  • Medication interactions: It’s no secret that as you age, you’re more likely to face health issues requiring prescription medications. There is a long list of prescribed medicines that should not be taken with alcohol. However, some older individuals may either not pay attention to these interaction risks or dismiss them. This could lead to dangerous and potentially fatal consequences.
  • Increased risk of falls or injuries: Older adults often have more brittle bones, putting them at increased risk for injury should they fall. Because alcohol impairs coordination and balance, it increases the likelihood of falls, fractures, and other injuries.
  • Worsening of existing health conditions: If an older adult has existing health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, or countless others, alcohol abuse can exacerbate these issues. 
  • Cognitive impairments: Elderly alcohol abuse can lead to more rapid cognitive decline and puts older individuals at an increased risk for developing dementia and can exacerbate existing issues like Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Malnutrition and dehydration dangers: Alcohol addiction can lead to poor dietary choices and dehydration which can further worsen health issues and lead to complications. 
  • Financial strain: Some older individuals struggle financially due to lacking incoming funds. Drinking alcohol regularly increases the financial strain they feel because of the cost of alcohol and potentially increased medical bills.

Partner With BOLD Health for Alcohol Rehab for Seniors

Getting older can be challenging enough without having to deal with addiction. If you or someone in your life is struggling with elderly alcohol abuse, getting them into high-quality alcohol rehab in San Diego can make the golden years healthier and more fulfilling. 

While it may be challenging to broach the subject, it’s important not to let alcohol addiction take the sparkle out of the remaining years of a loved one’s life. At BOLD Health, we’ll take the time to genuinely understand what brought your older loved one to their current situation. From there, we’ll tailor their treatment plan to suit their unique needs. 

BOLD Health

Their alcohol treatment in San Diego may include the following: 

Finding the right fit for alcohol treatment in San Diego for your older loved one can be overwhelming. But we’re here to walk beside you through the entire process and give you the support you and your loved one needs.

Contact Us

Posted in