Triggers and Treatment for Alcohol Abuse in Elderly

A significant portion of the elderly population suffers from alcoholism, the most often utilised substance by people aged 65 and up. At least a third of alcoholics over 65 got drunk later in life. Furthermore, new research suggests an uptick in the prevalence of binge drinking among seniors.
For this reason, older individuals represent a unique population that is highly susceptible to the harmful effects of substance abuse. Caretakers, family members, and professionals in the pitch tend to ignore substance abuse in the elderly, making them less likely to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate care than younger adults.
As a result of this omission, SUDs pose a very high risk of death and concomitant diseases (such as physical, cognitive, and mental illnesses) in this group. In this article, we have a look at the triggers and treatment for alcohol abuse in elderly. South Africa is home to a burgeoning population of recovering addicts, counsellors, and specialists, making it an excellent setting for alcohol rehabilitation centresGet in touch with us for more information on our long term rehab centre.

Understanding alcoholism in older adults

While substance abuse disorders are more common in teenagers and young adults, SUDs can and do affect people of all ages.
Use of illegal substances is not a problem that simply affects young people. These ageist attitudes contribute significantly to the low diagnostic and treatment/service rates among the elderly.

Alcohol Abuse in Elderly (Triggers & Treatment)
Alcohol Abuse in Elderly (Triggers & Treatment)
Alcohol Abuse in Elderly (Triggers & Treatment)

Misuse of substances, especially among the elderly, is extremely harmful and can greatly raise the likelihood of mortality and other physical problems. Those over the age of 65 are especially susceptible to the side effects of alcohol and the undesirable interactions between alcohol and drugs. Alcohol abuse is far more common than other substance abuse among those aged 65 and up who are dealing with SUDs. This is worrisome because alcohol is known to increase the risk of cognitive and physical issues in the elderly, such as confusion and falls, because the body does not metabolise it as efficiently as it does in younger people.

Causes for alcoholism in the elderly

Causes for alcoholism in the elderly
There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood of someone developing a substance misuse problem in later life. A person’s emotional well-being may be compromised due to factors such as illness or major life changes. These situations may initiate substance abuse that ultimately leads to dependency.
For senior people, substance abuse can be triggered or caused by a variety of factors, including:
·         Retirement
·         Death of a family member, spouse, pet, or close friend
·         Loss of income or financial strain
·         Loss of purpose
·         Relocation or placement in a nursing home
·         Trouble sleeping
·         Family conflict
·         Mental or physical health decline (depression, memory loss, major surgeries, etc.)

There are various factors that contribute to the prevalence of alcohol consumption among the elderly. The first and most common is when friends and loved ones pass away or grow apart due to illness.
Alcoholism has been connected to the empty nest syndrome as well. There can be a lot of loneliness among the elderly as their children grow up, move out, and start their own families.
Retirement might be lonely for people who aren’t used to spending time with others every day.

Alcohol Abuse in Elderly (Triggers & Treatment)
Alcohol Abuse in Elderly (Triggers & Treatment)

Loss of social support and financial stability can lead to isolation and eventually to substance misuse because of the resulting boredom. Late-in-life traumas, such as the loss of a spouse, have been linked to increased alcohol consumption among the elderly. When an elderly person’s health declines and they lose hope, they may turn to alcohol abuse. It’s possible that money issues are adding to the issue. The degrading effects of drugs and alcohol are especially perilous for the elderly. The ability to metabolise drugs and alcohol decreases and the brain’s susceptibility to these substances increases in people over the age of 65. Because of this, any drug or alcohol use, even in the absence of addiction, poses a serious risk to the health of elders.

Treating alcohol addiction in the elderly

Few elderly people who struggle with alcoholism will be able to beat it without treatment.
Because alcohol causes more rapid and severe damage to the brain and other bodily organs like the liver in the elderly than in younger people, treatment for alcoholism becomes increasingly challenging with age.
The withdrawal symptoms of shaking, convulsions, stomach pain, insomnia, hypertension, perspiration, anxiety, and acute confusion can be managed with the support of professional treatment for your loved one.
In order to prevent potentially fatal withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended that alcoholics, especially those over 65, reduce their alcohol use gradually.
Treatment for alcoholism in the elderly typically entails close monitoring and reduced intake to start, followed by complete cessation of consumption and the beginning of medication.
Both inpatient and outpatient options are available at alcohol rehabilitation centres for the elderly; however, the former is strongly encouraged.
Rehab centres provide care that is adapted to the unique requirements of the ageing population. Seniors who have trouble moving about are provided with suitable aids and assistance throughout.
We also accommodate dietary restrictions and medical requirements. This is why it’s best to have an elderly loved one undergo treatment at a facility designed for their age group.

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