Rehab for Seniors

rehab for seniors

Rehab for Seniors

The reality of addiction and its long-term effects can be a hard one to accept, even for seniors. Many senior citizens struggle with addiction and substance abuse, and these people are in serious need of professional treatment.

It’s imperative to understand that there’s no real formula for drug rehab – especially when it comes to senior adults. There are many professional practices that a young adult would respond well to that a senior adult would not. Professional rehab for seniors comes with its own set of difficulties. 

Difficulties of Senior Recovery

Rehabilitation for older adults can be uniquely difficult. Whether they struggle with alcohol or drugs, rehab for seniors can be a daunting task. As people age, ailments, and handicaps generally become more frequent. Hearing or vision loss may occur, as well as the need to use a wheelchair. 

Our team is committed to being patient with seniors while also pursuing excellence in their recovery journey. The goal is to be accommodating to their every need relating to drug recovery within the context of their already-existing physical difficulties.

Why Rehab for Seniors?

Our desire is for seniors to become happy and content in their lives and homes so that they can feel as though they are living with purpose. We believe that service is the center of spirituality, and our goal is to serve those struggling to move past addiction so that they can recover and pursue their purpose in life.

Often, seniors ache for a sense of belonging. Towards the later stages of their lives, older adults can often feel isolated and vulnerable. This is precisely why the team at Sana Lake is committed to surrounding them with the right support system. We believe that support is the foundation of empowerment, and when they feel empowered to recover, they’ll make great strides in their recovery journey. 

Our rehab program specializes in helping senior adults move past their addiction, and also provides them with a strong support system. We provide seniors with the right tools to recover because we know that substance abuse recovery is a difficult task.

Do Seniors Struggle With Addiction?

Most often, people believe that because young people struggle with alcohol and drug abuse more statistically, older adults don’t struggle at all. However, this is not the case. In fact, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the number of seniors ages 50-65-year-old who struggle with illicit drug use doubled in percentages from 2002-2012 (1.7% at the lowest in 2002, compared to 3.6% at the lowest in 2012). 

Among older adults, alcohol is the most common substance abused. This is largely responsible for the harm to the health and well-being of older adults. As adults age, the liver has a harder time processing alcohol. As a result, seniors experience a higher blood-alcohol concentration when they drink compared to that of young adults.

How Do Seniors Become Addicted?

The attitude of drugs among baby boomers is much more receptive than that of their previous generation. Therefore, as those adults age, their lifetime of drug use makes it more difficult for them to recover. Their cultural philosophies and the widespread availability of psychotherapeutic drugs contribute to this difficulty.

There is also a disadvantage in that as people age, they grow to immerse themselves in denial. It is often difficult for anybody to admit that there is a problem, but when somebody has experienced life and established themselves as much as an older individual, admitting that they need help becomes more difficult. As people grow older, they become less inclined to ask for or receive help.

Symptoms of Addiction In Seniors

Symptoms of addiction in seniors include the following:

  • Mood changes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Blackouts

There are so many symptoms of drug abuse in the elderly that it can be difficult to discern as to which one’s point to abuse. It’s imperative, however, not recognize these symptoms with a grain of salt. Instead, the best course of action is to seek help for your loved one immediately. But if they’re unwilling to receive help, it may be time for an intervention. 

When to Intervene 

Once you’ve realized your loved one may be suffering from substance abuse and addiction, you must take action as quickly as possible. Discuss what you’ve been noticing with them in love and understanding. This is the best way to approach anybody dealing with addiction. If they refuse to seek help, it’s time to intervene. 

Once you’ve gathered other loved ones or professionals in this area of expertise, they will be able to help you approach the intervention process. An intervention will help bring their attention to the fact that they’re addicted. Thankfully, the recovery process can go even further as there are plenty of programs that help the elderly navigate rehabilitation. 

It could be as simple as a phone call, or even filling out an online form, but it’s important to seek help immediately. For a senior adult, addiction is immensely difficult, and it can be hard to ask for help. But when the elderly enter our treatment programs, they are treated with the best care to meet their individual needs.

How Will Their Needs Be Met?

Some of our treatment options at Sana Lake include the following:

These treatments have all proven to be safe and effective in our area of expertise. We aim to treat your loved one with the best care available to meet their individual needs. There is no one-size-fits-all process in rehab. It may take some more time than others, and others might just need a little nudge in the right direction.

Who’s Involved?

Our team members include:

  • Doctors – Ensures a safe recovery environment for withdrawal management, and general physical and mental health.
  • Therapists – Our therapists are educated, trained, and experienced in working with those who have struggled with drug addiction, mental illness, and trauma.
  • Substance Use Counselors – Substance Use Counselors lead a team dedicated to helping start the recovery process by way of relapse prevention, emotional regulation, triggers, and distorted thinking.
  • Community Support Specialists – Assist in the development of a treatment plan, as well as helping with resources, and getting involved with the community.
  • Peer Support Specialists – Offers connections with others, a sense of community, belonging, and motivation to continue treatment.
  • Member Care Specialists – Provide safety, support, and direction to help the recovery process move along easier.
  • Wellness Staff – Offer education and resources that will help those struggling with addiction heal. 

Our team at Sana Lake Recovery Center is prepared to give the best care to meet every individual’s needs. Patients and loved ones can rest assured knowing that they are safe and understood in the hands of our patient, compassionate staff.

What Happens Afterwards?

Our team at Sana Lake Recovery is committed to providing seniors who struggle with addiction with the best care available to help guide them along on their recovery journey. We aim to help them arrive at a place of stability and functionality for the remainder of their lives. Ultimately we want to equip everybody with the best tools, and knowledge on how to use them so that the recovery journey outside of our doors is met with ease.

However, contrary to popular belief, recovery doesn’t stop after a patient walks out the door. It does, however, lay the groundwork for a possible future of better, healthier decision making. Support groups are also available to help patients stay grounded outside of the safety of a recovery center.

Life After Rehab for Seniors

The worst part about drug addiction is its long term effects. Not only does it hurt people who have started young, but it has also gone on to affect decision making into elderly adulthood. Not only does it affect them, but it also has a large impact on their friends and family. It has the power to tear apart well-founded relationships and enable discord among loved ones.

At Sana Lake Recovery Center, we believe in coming alongside those who struggle with addiction. We aim to nurture, encourage, support, guide, and usher them into a life of sobriety. Treating each patient is a complex process due to unique individual needs.

We desire to ultimately lead those struggling to a place of sobriety. We do this by assessing the needs of the individual so that we may lay a strong foundation for the work to come. Throughout their time here at Sana Lake, elderly adults will be treated compassionately with a nurturing spirit so that they may have peace of mind on their journey to recovery.

We are committed to assisting our senior clients in long-term recovery so that what they’ve learned and practiced with us can continue with them for the rest of their lives. You can contact us here, or call us at (855) 413-8252.

Article Reviewed by David Sherman, MD

David Sherman, MDDavid Sherman, MD is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (FASAM) and board certified in Addiction Medicine with the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is a native Missourian and graduated medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Sherman completed a two-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He leads a highly trained staff of master level certified addiction professionals. Men and women from all over Missouri and the United States come to Sana Lake Recovery Center to get the care they need and deserve.