Addiction and Older Adults

Posted on

Dec 07, 2017

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Addiction rates are increasing in older adults. 17% of this age group struggles with substances and by 2020 the number is expected to double. Prescription overdose deaths in older adults outrank heroin overdoses in young people.
The term accidental addict is often associated with adults 50 years and older who develop problems with alcohol or other drugs. They may have prescriptions for prescription pain pills, sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medications. Mix that, with more free time, isolation, their usual one or two drinks along with a slowing metabolism and the potential for addiction becomes greater.
Stigma, shame and denial prevent people from getting help. Sometimes, its difficult to distinguish between the signs of aging and those of alcohol or other drug misuse, delaying necessary treatment.
While a personal decision is the first step in facilitating and maintaining sobriety, additional support from members of a healthcare team like prescribers, therapists, social workers and family members, go a long way in improving the odds of successful rehabilitation. Home health agencies are playing an integral role in providing these essential supports to a recovering member.
At some home health companies like Middlesex Healthcare Services, one of the main objectives is to receive you in whatever state of recovery youre in and become part of your journey to rehabilitation. They can assist with medication management, extensive education on proper medication use, desired effects and adverse effects. They can monitor response to medication and offer much needed liaison with other healthcare professionals to ensure successful treatment.
As part of the recovery process, they recognize the challenges of planning and adhering to the regular appointments with therapists, caseworkers, psychologists and prescribers. Some agencies offers two free rides every month for your appointments.

If you are concerned about a loved one, or your own potential for addiction, please reach out to an experienced professional for guidance on a program designed specifically for the older adult. The good news is that people respond quickly when they get the right help.

Please feel free to call us at (978) 655-4749 to discuss your rehabilitation needs and options available.
Submitted by: Mercy Irura, RN, Middlesex HealthCare Services

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