Teenagers and young adults aren’t the only victims who fall prey to addiction; the elderly population can, too. However unfortunate, remember to stay positive. Falling into drug addiction shouldn’t mean the end of the world for you. Like for the younger population, there are many options for addiction treatment for seniors, as well. No matter how old you may be, there are still ways for you to get better.
Here are some of the treatment options for the elderly population:
1. Recognize the early signs and symptoms
Before thinking about admitting your senior relative to any rehabilitation facility, try to do your care first at home by recognizing the early sign and symptoms. For the elderly population, it’s often the case that these senior individuals get addicted by accident. Because of their prescription medicines and the relief that it gives them, sometimes their body gets too dependent, or their weak bodies transmit the drug through their bloodstream differently. This, in a few months, may lead to accidental addiction.
Some of the early signs and symptoms include:
● Depression or suddenly being aloof
● Extreme mood swings
● Weight loss
● Sad thoughts or a feeling of isolation
When you feel that something is different with your elderly family member, do home intervention first and check their prescription medicines for any addictive content, then seek the help of their doctor about this, or how to manage any alternative medication instead.
2. Go for motivational counseling and education on substance abuse
As aforementioned, most of the addictions that occur in old age happen by chance and aren’t done on purpose, or by choice. Hence, once the affected senior has been diagnosed with substance abuse, they may feel lost and confused as to what is going on to their already ripe physical bodies. Therefore, it’s essential to educate them on substance abuse properly and to support them through motivational counseling. Nexus Recovery Services offers great help for motivational counseling and education on substance abuse for the elderly.
Take note that at the time these senior individuals lived through their youth, substance abuse was not a very common occurrence yet, nor is it something that is widely heard about or studied. Therefore, it’s necessary to guide the affected elderly through this whole process and enroll them in motivational counseling sessions. These counseling sessions can help curb any confusion, anxiety or depressing thoughts that the elderly may be thinking.
3. Have an overall health checkup
The misuse of prescription drugs is what leads the elderly population to substance abuse. As you’re now aware that these prescription drugs when overused can have harmful effects on the body, it is crucial that you include an overall health checkup as a part of your addiction treatment. It’s useless for you to undergo a lot of other treatment options, and neglecting your health by keeping it on the side.
As you go through an overall health checkup, your doctor will also be made aware that you have misused these prescription drugs, leading to these problems in your health. Hence, they’ll be able to issue other possible solutions to your health problems that led you to prescription medicines, in the first place.
4. Check yourself in for a medical detox
Medical detox is different from the previously discussed health checkup. For the health checkup, your physical body is still checked for any possible side effects that the addiction has had on your body. If there are any negative effects, then your doctor will help you treat this problem. As with medical detox, on the other hand, your doctor, and a team of professionals such as a nutritionist, pharmacist and your nurse will help pull you slowly out of any prescription drugs.
It’s worth noting that when you find out that you’re addicted to any substance, you can’t just withdraw from it immediately, as you may also experience extreme withdrawal symptoms. It is best to first seek the help of medical professionals to detox your body from any of these chemical substances. This whole process can either be an inpatient or outpatient procedure, depending on the severity of your case.
5. Go for inpatient treatment at a rehabilitation facility
Checking in to a rehabilitation facility is not as daunting as it sounds. For the elderly population, it’s more beneficial for you to stay in one throughout your whole addiction treatment process. When you check into an inpatient facility, you’re watched over round the clock by your therapists. If you don’t have any family members staying with you in your house, then this is the most desirable option for you to do.
The rehabilitation facility for the senior population is always catered to their particular needs. Hence, you won’t have to worry about being mixed with teenagers, if this makes you feel uncomfortable. Even more importantly, most of these inpatient facilities are on a personalized approach, one that’s tweaked to match the individual needs of their patients.
Plus, the most beneficial thing is that you get to mingle with other patients your age! This fact will actually help your recovery process as you’ll feel like you’re not alone in the journey, and there are many of you walking and working together to live a better life.
6. Choose a residential treatment
If you have younger family members living with you who can take care of you, then going for residential treatment is a great option. As the term states, when you choose to go for residential treatment, you won’t be checked in to any facility; hence you can focus to receive your addiction treatment in the comfort of your home. Part of the program for residential treatment includes:
● Inviting you to scheduled support group meetings
● Helping you learn a new skill or art such as knitting for women and simple woodworking or woodcrafts for men
● Holistic care such as meditation and devotion time
Remember that even if you belong to the older population, you do still need treatment. Don’t feel that because you’re a senior, you’ll no longer need it. These options show you that many holistic, healthy and manageable treatment options are well thought of to cater to your delicate and special needs. Your care and well-being is always the top priority for any addiction treatment that you will choose for yourself, or your senior loved one.