Aging With Grace, Aging with Addiction
Nostalgic America Magazine: www.nostalgicamerica.com
How to identify if your loved one needs help
For many Americans, sitting down for dinner with a glass of wine every night has become widely accepted as normal. Over time, the body falls into a routine. It is not uncommon for a person to begin needing a second or third drink when the one drink no longer feels like enough. When society does not recognize the everyday use of a dependent substance as harmful, it makes it more difficult to see the dependency in you, a friend, or in a family member.
When a person reaches their late 40s into 50s, new stressors begin to emerge. Some people have sons and daughters leaving the nest, elderly parents who are beginning to require more assistance, and others may even be adjusting to a new life in retirement. Whatever the case may be, many of these people grew up in a generation where quick fixes were the first and only solution. “As Baby Boomers enter a transitional stage in their lives, new stressors make them more prone to depression and anxiety,” said Juan Harris, Program Director for Center for Older Adult Recovery, Hanley Center. The Center provides insight into the causes of the growing issue of addiction among older Americans. Harris continues, “As a generation that grew up in a time when recreational drug use was commonly accepted, Boomers are reverting to substance abuse as a way to cope with stress and change.”
As soon as prescription drugs and alcohol get thrown into the mix of regular bodily deterioration, the aging body begins to wear rapidly. Substance abuse is dangerous for people of any age, but as the body gets older, there is a natural decrease in brain health and body function. Alcohol and polypharmacy compound the problems associated with aging, like a decrease in brain health, balance issues, falls, fractures, and head injuries. There are always significant health risks involved for those who abuse substances. The consequences can range from memory troubles and family dysfunction to organ failure and death. Substance abuse among the aging only makes the addiction more complex and difficult to deal with.
If you feel that you or a loved one may be struggling with addiction, asking questions to gain information and knowledge is the key to begin dealing with any problem. Addiction and dependency are not easy topics to handle alone. At Feinberg Consulting, Inc. we offer services in care management for families in all different situations. Do not let excuses like, “She’s just old” or “He’s always had that much to drink” cloud your judgment any longer. Take control and contact Feinberg Consulting, Inc. for your care management needs.
Pam Feinberg-Rivkin, RN, BSN, CCM, CRRN
Founder and CEO