You may not see it, but some seniors are alcoholics. As they age, their alcohol sensitivity increases, while their tolerance levels decrease. This means that older people tend to feel the effects of alcohol much faster than everyone else.
During inpatient alcohol rehab, seniors undergo a medically assisted withdrawal detoxification process before undergoing individual and group addiction therapy to address the source of addictive behaviours, increase self-awareness and take steps towards recovery.
What are the signs of alcohol addiction in seniors?
Here are the signs you should look out for:
- Changing sleeping habits
- Memory loss problems
- Sadness, irritability, and depression
- Chronic pains
- Changing eating habits
- Needing to be alone often
- Not bathing or needing to stay clean
- Losing touch with their loved ones
- A lack of interest in their usual activities
What causes alcohol addiction in seniors?
Many things would cause alcohol addiction later on in life. These can be life-changing events, health issues, or even emotional problems.
Any of these can provoke substance abuse resulting in full-blown addiction.
Potential triggers include:
- Retirement with nothing to do.
- A death in the family could be a spouse, family member, close friend, or pet.
- A loss of income
- Placement in a nursing home or relocation
- Trouble sleeping
- Conflicts in the family
- Physical or mental health decline
What are the dangers of elderly alcohol abuse?
Alcohol abuse in the elderly is dangerous because senior citizens are more susceptible to substance abuse that causes deterioration to their health.
It is also very difficult to spot prescription drug abuse signs, especially from seniors. Though there is an option for OTC or over the counter medications.
Most people over 65 years of age tend to have a decreased ability to metabolize alcohol and drugs, which increases their sensitivity. It makes addiction dangerous to seniors.
Benzodiazepines, mainly prescribed to seniors to treat pain, anxiety, and insomnia, are some of the most dangerous prescription drugs.
They are highly addictive, and the number of older people addicted to this drug goes high each day.
Why choose inpatient treatment for seniors?
When you discover that your loved one is an alcoholic, then you must be seeking addiction treatment for your beloved one. the best treatment option is a rehab clinic.
There are many options out there, but the best for an older person is an inpatient rehab clinic.
This is because they provide 24 hours care to the patients. And it is difficult to manage an older person than a younger person.
For the elderly, this is an excellent option because they have medical staff present at all times just in case there is any special care needed, and as you know, older citizens almost always require special care.
The patient will be required to live in the facility and receive intensive care with programmes that will immerse them into a treatment process that will enable them to focus on their addiction and recovery.
Therapy and Meditation
Included in the treatment are group therapy sessions, medication-assisted treatment, individual therapy, and other forms of treatment such as meditation and outdoor activities.
Help to meditate substance abuse disorders and chronic pain
People with severe or long-standing addictions or with multiple substance abuse issues would benefit from inpatient clinics. Not only that, people with chronic pain resulting from alcohol and drugs are taken care of in the inpatient clinics.
What are the benefits of inpatient care for seniors?
The impatient seniors will get the following benefits from inpatient clinics:
They provide a safe and supportive environment
The older adults will be in a safe and supportive environment and around people who understand them and their struggles.
When you are an addict, access to peer support is necessary to maintain your sobriety in the long term.
They provide stability, structure, and routine
When one develops an addiction, the best thing to do is establish some structure and routine in their life to start dealing with it.
This is one of the keys to replacing the self-destructiveness of alcohol abuse, alcoholism and drug dependence.
The structure protects the patients and prevents them from falling back into negative and old habits.
Days filled with a routine including chores, regular meals, and a regulated mealtime will provide the structure with the addict needs.
They offer the elderly person therapy and addiction treatment
When one is recovering from an addiction, one needs to have both physical and psychological therapy.
Different people need different treatments, and it is essential to know the different therapy options available out there.
This helps the individual know what is best for them.
The inpatient facilities offer round the clock support
Clinics offering inpatient rehab provide 24/7 clinical and medical support. This is vital for older people and helps prevent them from relapsing.
Withdrawal from alcohol is sometimes painful, uncomfortable, and dangerous, and this patient certainly needs a lot of care.
They provide monitored treatment and abstinence
When the older person goes to a rehab clinic, they seek help to overcome their alcohol addiction. As such, the rehab centres have medical professionals who enforce abstinence and ensure monitoring of the treatment.
You cannot leave the rehab to find alcohol.
They help them find new and better habits
Drug addiction goes hand-in-hand with poor decision-making about health and a lack of discipline.
Rehab programmes offer the elderly addict an opportunity to build new habits and develop new goals they can work on.
The building of new habits seems almost impossible initially, but according to researchers, it takes around 66 days for one to learn a new routine and stick to it.
This is the reason why rehab clinics are crucial for recovering addicts. They enable them to find time and space for instituting new ways of living their lives.
They provide them with physical health programmes
Most addicts tend to be malnourished as they do not take care of their physical health.
Rehab clinics are aware of this, and they tend to have inpatient health providers to help the addicts with nutrition and exercise programmes.
Alcohol abuse is one of the leading causes of physical and mental disorders, and this is why the mental health services administration of rehab centres need to have this kind of programme.
They offer continued support for the elderly
The rehab benefits stretch beyond the treatment period. When the patients are released from rehab, they are not just thrown into the world to take care of themselves.
Instead, they are provided with ongoing aftercare comprising support groups and programmes that help them integrate back into society and implement what they learned in the rehab centre.
Can the elderly person leave rehab?
Yes. When they are sure their addiction has been conquered, they can leave the rehab facility.
Additionally, the inpatient rehab is quite expensive, which means they cannot live there forever.
Thirty days are not enough for everyone to successfully recover from alcohol addiction and return to their everyday lives.
Most patients will have physically recovered, but not all of them will be psychologically and emotionally recovered.
As such, some people may need a little longer at the rehab clinic. In addition, they may have started coping with different issues in their lives, such as deep-seated trauma, long-term violence, etc.
A rehab patient needs to be extra careful when leaving rehab as they may not be ready to do so just yet.
Most of them will worry that they will have a hard time staying sober. Once the patients go back home, they no longer receive the needed intensive care.
Likewise, leaving the rehab too may set them up for failure.
What can seniors do after they leave rehab?
If you are not yet ready to go back home after rehab, there are some alcoholic alternatives for you. Here are some of them:
Once the older person leaves the rehab clinic, it is not wise to go alone because the triggers may be around them, e.g., losing a spouse.
As such, the best option would be to find them a nursing facility that will take good care of them and ensure that they do not relapse.
Outpatient rehab care
Patients are supposed to attend rigorous outpatient therapy to meet their on-going rehabilitation needs.
This step-down phase allows a more gradual return to normalcy living after the recovery process in rehab.
How does rehab help in the long run?
Most people who leave rehab clinics or treatment centres tend to return after a relapse, and although there are treatment plans that can be designed for them, the best results will come when one stays longer.
Rehab graduates who have been in rehab for 90 days will have a better abstinence rate. These patients also receive on-going care and assistance.
As a result, this will help their chances of learning the required skills to remain sober. It also helps them against the adverse effects of long alcohol addiction.
What happens after rehab?
What happens after alcohol rehab is in a fight to remain sober. But, unfortunately, alcohol cravings are real, and they can hit one at any time. It is estimated that about 40-60 per cent of all alcohol addicts will relapse after rehab.
Doctors will prescribe for you an aftercare programme to avoid relapse. In addition, self-help services such as Alcoholics Anonymous are excellent for helping one stay sober, and frequent support groups are part of the treatment process.
Will they be able to overcome their addiction?
With alcohol addiction, there is no sure cure. What needs to be done is to manage the addiction effectively.
Regardless of what kind of treatment you have received or how long and intensive it was, the recovery does not happen when the patient completes the rehab programme.
Recovery from substance abuse is an on-going process, even a life-long one.
Managing one’s addiction requires a lot of hard work on a personal level to navigate through life without the need to get high all the time.
How much does inpatient rehab for seniors cost?
How much a private rehab costs depends on the provider.
Of course, it varies from one rehab clinic to the next, but, generally, a 28-day treatment programme costs between £6,950 and £11,950.
Some programmes cost even more depending on the luxury level and reputation of the clinic.
In a nutshell, we are saying that how much you pay for the treatment depends on the clinic you choose and the length of the programme.
With the elderly, treatment can be a severe on-going process, mainly because their triggers are more emotional, such as retirement, loss of a spouse, etc. These are issues they will always have and can easily trigger a relapse.
As such, you should never rush the recovering addict, and you must be fully aware of all the defaults and perks that go with rehabilitation.
Taking the time to understand the benefits and limitations of rehabilitation and the dos and don’ts during the care will go a long way towards helping your loved one recover.
Once you have a handle on things, you can be better positioned to provide help and advice on the proper treatment to seek, either inpatient or outpatient.