Home Care Provider for Elderly Substance Abusers – Up to this point, society viewed addiction and substance abuse as primarily a young person’s affliction. However, a whole generation of younger people is aging out and bringing their habits and attitudes about drugs and addictions with them. As baby boomers enter the golden years, their exposure to alcohol and drugs as youngsters makes them more open to them now.
According to the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). This hidden national epidemic is prevalent in those aged 60 and older. As a result, many organizations have new guidelines for doctors and health professionals to screen each and every patient for alcohol and drug abuse.
National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions has data. And it is showing that one in five people over 65 have had a substance or alcohol abuse problem. The substances of choice were alcohol and tobacco.
Opioids are prescribed for pain, but due to their high acclimation effect, higher and higher doses are needed to get the same result. Doctors, given specious information from drug companies and largely untrained in pain management, prescribe them again and again in a naive attempt to improve quality of life. Furthermore, patients are not educated in alternative methods.
There are a number of factors that make the elderly in general and today’s aging baby boomers specifically more susceptible to becoming addicts.
- The elderly metabolize drugs and alcohol more slowly which means that they stay in their systems longer.
- Tolerance to these drugs increases over time and addiction can begin after as few as 10 days of use.
- More established folks often have the money to afford their addiction.
- There is less of a stigma to Baby Boomers toward drug use than the previous generation.
Two types of elderly abusers:
There are two types of elderly abusers. OASAS calls these groups:
- Hardy Survivors: Those who are continuing their heavy substance use cultivated over their lives.
- Late Onsets: Those who, due to the disappointments and struggles of later years, have turned to alcohol and drugs as a way to cope with their pain—physical and psychological.
Women, who generally live longer, are more likely to fall prey to substance abuse later in life. Alcohol is usually the drug of choice, but prescription medications rank just below that. Many of these prescription drugs include opiates for pain relief for diseases like arthritis and sedatives for anxiety and sleep disorders.
The elderly use so many prescription and over-the-counter drugs that their adverse interactions with alcohol or narcotics could be disastrous. Because the way we metabolize alcohol and drugs as we age changes, it actually takes much less alcohol for the elderly to become intoxicated. This leads to a greater risk for impaired cognitive functioning, depression and general confusion. They may even become so confused that they take extra doses of medication resulting in overdose or death.
Already compromised in many aged, brain cells essential for memory, thinking and decision-making are destroyed with substance abuse. Furthermore, being sedated by drugs or alcohol combined with its cumulative effects increases the risk of falls and serious fractures to the elderly which are often accompanied by fatal complications.
It is difficult to tease out the symptoms of substance abuse since they mimic many of the common signs of aging. It is recommended to watch out for memory loss, disorientation, lack of balance, shaky hands, mood swings, depression, chronic boredom, changes in sleeping habits, unexplained bruises, being unsure of yourself, unexplained chronic pain, changes in eating habits, wanting to stay alone much of the time, failing to bathe or keep clean, having trouble concentrating, difficulty staying in touch with family or friends, lack of interest in usual activities among others.
Here are some preventive tips:
- Pay close attention to the elderly family member’s daily comings and goings.
- Get a drug interaction list of the elderly patient’s medications from the pharmacist.
- Raise any concerns with the doctor arrange for a thorough assessment and screening.
- Increase the activity level and social activities for the elderly loved one.
- Participate in a 12-step program or support group.
- Have diplomatic, nonjudgmental conversations with your elderly relative.
Detox for the aged is difficult and needs to be done slowly and with a lot of monitoring. Also, cognitive and physical issues can slow detox treatments down. However, once completed, patients can return to living normal lives, without the debilitating effects of prescription addiction.
Home Care Provider for Elderly Recovering from Substance Abuse
After rehabilitation, more and more substance abusers are opting for care in the comfortable surroundings of their home. This is especially the case for the elderly who are often too frail to move successfully. Royal CareGivers in home care provider are able to focus specifically on providing relief involved with substance abuse issues.
And we provide these services for the elderly/patients in their homes. Our nurses carefully train and monitor our aides. They develop a care plan for the patient. In conjunction with the patient’s other health professionals and family. Our nurse trains them in the special issues related to stroke recovery. A nurse is always available and would be happy to discuss your case with you.
No matter what level of service you need, we’re available 24/7.
When you face the challenge of finding the best in-home care provider. And you want to do help care for the emotional and physical well-being of someone you love, maybe your mom or dad. So you will want to be confident that you are making the right choice.
At Royal CareGivers, extraordinary service is what sets us apart from other companies. Who provide in home health care services. Whatever your care needs, we are there for you. And we are always striving to exceed your expectations.