Addiction and the Elderly Population: Is There a Correlation?
Typically when you think of drug and alcohol abuse, the last person you would suspect is someone that is elderly. But, in fact, addiction and the elderly population is more common than you might think.
There are things that contribute to addiction in the elderly, and we’re here to pull the covers back on the subject and provide you with a tell-all about what you need to know. Scroll from end to end because you’re not going to want to miss a single thing that we’re about to let you know.
What Causes Senior Addiction?
There are several factors that can cause addiction in the elderly, and they are things that people may not suspect. Knowing what can trigger or lead an elderly person to begin using is essential for providing them the help they need to stop their use.
Some of the factors you’re about to learn about may be shocking, and some may not be. But, the more you know about the subject at the end of the day, the more help you can provide to those in need.
When we say a family death, this goes beyond a spouse or family member all the way down to a family pet. When you’re getting older and outliving everyone in your life, you may begin to feel alone, and as if you’ve got no one left.
To cope with these feelings of loneliness, one might turn to elderly drug addiction.
Living in a Nursing Home
For some, the only option left when their family isn’t able to stay with them daily is to move their loved one somewhere where they will have everything they need around the clock. Moving from the comfort of your own home into a nursing home can be overwhelming as a person comes to terms with their new surroundings.
This type of move can lead to substance abuse issues that are fueled by our next contributing factor. While no one wants to be moved from their homes in some cases it’s the only answer to ensure the continued health of a loved one.
Lack of Stimulation
As a person ages, they find themselves not being able to move around as freely as they were once able to. This means that they aren’t able to go out and do the same things that they once enjoyed.
And because of the lack of stimulation, it may cause them to begin an addiction to pass the time that they find themselves having plenty of. Lack of stimulation also may be due to being in retirement and no longer having the day to day schedule of getting up and going to work.
Why is Elderly Addiction Dangerous?
Addiction is dangerous to anyone that is using, but especially when you think of the elderly and substance abuse. With age comes other health issues, such as the changes the body undergoes. As time goes on, your body begins to show signs of arthritis, and you begin to lose cognitive function and find yourself having trouble remembering things.
When an elderly person is in active addiction, it can wreak havoc on their brains and bodies primarily because they cannot absorb or metabolize substances in the way that younger people can.
Knowing that addiction in the elderly is dangerous means that we need to know the signs of addiction to correctly identify them and help a person fight their addiction and take steps towards detoxing.
Eating Habit Changes
If someone goes from regularly eating to eating a lot or eating less, it may be a sign that they’ve got an addiction. Those in active addiction may find themselves not having much of an appetite, or they may only have an appetite when they are coming down off the drug.
Withdrawing From Others
If your loved one is a social butterfly and out of nowhere begins to spend more time by themselves, it could be a sign of addiction. When someone wants to be alone, they may be continually using, or they don’t want others to know how progressed their addiction has become.
Change in Personal Hygiene
Changes in hygiene signify is a tricky symptom when it comes to addiction. The reason is that some people that are older simply forget to bathe without being prompted too.
That doesn’t mean that a sudden change in hygiene isn’t a sign that someone is fighting an addiction issue.
As we mentioned, when people get older, it’s understandable that they begin to have issues with their memory. Using substances can intensify this symptom and cause a person to become more forgetful and lead to further memory problems.
In the beginning, the memory issues may be caught and written off as having a mental slip, but the more someone uses, the more common these memory issues will become. And to those that are around someone, the more noticeable they will become.
Addiction and the Elderly Population: What’s the Deal?
When looking at the correlation between addiction and the elderly population, you’ve got to consider everything listed above. Starting with factors that may lead an older person to begin having addiction issues like grieving the loss of someone in their life or being lonely.
Regardless of what started the addiction, you or your loved one must seek help immediately. The experts at addiction detox have what you need to get back to living a healthier life.
Don’t waste any more time; contact us today and let us help you get back to making memories with the ones you love.