Alcohol Rehab For Seniors On Medicare
Adults over the age of 65 occupy a great number of the population in the United States at present and the country’s Census Bureau estimates that it could reach more than 80 million people by the year 2050.
As their generation grew up with alcohol as popular leisure, statistics reveal how seniors are highly susceptible to alcoholism. This calls for a more versatile alcohol rehab treatment that also fits their budget.
A concerning fact is that studies show that 1 out 5 seniors struggle from alcohol use disorder and considering the thought of how most of their cases are not given much attention and are left untreated, this figure could be significantly higher.
Alcoholism among Seniors
The risk of complications from excessive alcohol use among seniors is higher compared to other age groups. Despite that, over 1 out of 10 of them are reported to be engaged in binge drinking, which means consuming 4 or 5 drinks within 2 hours. Alcoholism among seniors is a huge cause of concern for the following reasons:
Alcohol Weakens Physical State
Their system could barely tolerate alcohol compared to the time when they were younger. Substance abuse may complicate their current physical health condition and trigger multiple health problems brought by old age such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and even mood disorders.
On top of that, since most of them experience chronic pain and resort to specific medications to manage it, complications may arise when these medicines are taken in conjunction with alcohol. More than 20,000 deaths and an estimated 6 to 11% of hospital admissions of seniors in the country are caused by excessive alcohol use.
Alcohol Disorder is Left Untreated
The symptoms of substance disorder are commonly overlooked in this age group. There is less attention given to depression, a possible mental state that co-occurs with substance abuse. And since loneliness could be pretty common within these golden years, the chances for misdiagnosis are high.
Another factor to note is how a lot of seniors are reluctant to be assessed for substance abuse. The idea that addiction is a chronic disease that requires treatment does not appeal to them. As a result, they are left untreated while the number of senior binge drinkers continues to grow. This state among them is commonly termed as the “invisible epidemic”.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse
It is a common belief that as one grows in age, the tolerance towards getting drunk also increases. However, this does not always apply when one reaches the age of 50s or 60s. The ability of the body to distribute alcohol in the entire system at that age weakens and so the impact of the substance becomes imminent. In other words, one would easily get drunk.
With 50% of the residents in nursing homes found to have alcohol use disorder, alcoholism among seniors is a subject that needs immediate attention. As conditions brought by old age resemble the symptoms of an alcohol use disorder, there is a great need for experts to closely evaluate them to avoid misdiagnosis. Here are symptoms an ordinary eye can identify:
Physical health conditions
One or more of the following physical health conditions can be experienced by seniors who are drinking heavily with alcohol:
Persistent Health Problems
Constant complaints about illnesses could be a red flag. When a person experiences loss of appetite and insomnia without a valid cause, that would most likely relate to alcoholism.
Slurred speech can appear as speaking softer than a whisper or speaking loudly. You will notice a person usually with the breath of alcohol and is oftentimes tipsy.
Memory loss is when a person is unable to recall an event recently or significantly. happened. Forgetfulness and lack of mindfulness could also relate to this condition.
Changes in behavior
The following behaviors can be observed by seniors with extreme alcoholism:
Excessive Drinking Patterns
A person practices distinct drinking patterns such as eagerly attending occasions where there is drinking, or sometimes keeping drinking as a secret habit. Seniors may also carry tranquilizers with them and apply one when a specific disturbance occurs. You may also notice several empty liquor bottles around.
Sudden Disengagement and/or Negligence
People intoxicated with alcohol become negligent of their appearance and their life. They lose interest in the usual activities that matter to them and oftentimes appear either stressed or hostile. Sometimes they experience delusion or even tend to hide burns and bruises which they have caused to themselves.
Alcohol Rehab for Seniors
Typically, it’s daunting to encourage baby boomers to enroll in an alcohol rehab even when they direly need it. With the high rate of emergency room admissions among seniors due to excessive alcohol use, it is important to seek professional help to mitigate the impending danger of addiction within their age.
Considering their age, a medically assisted detox will be more helpful in managing the discomfort of the process. You have medical personnel on duty 24/7 to help you with any painful withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, the best is inpatient detox for seniors.
Therapies and support groups will also be available, although it is important to consider that processing their thoughts and expressing their feelings openly is likely to take more time compared to a younger age. For this reason, age-specific group sessions will work better to engage them in the process.
Medicare Support for Seniors
Medicare is a perfect partner in financially assisting adults from 65 years and upon their alcohol rehab treatment. To enjoy the advantage of this healthcare financial assistance, you have to ensure that the rehab facility you are counting on is participating in Medicare. Your physician must also indicate the urgency of your treatment and present a treatment plan to Medicare.
This healthcare can cover your expenses for inpatient and outpatient alcohol rehab treatment. Medicare offers partial payment of the treatment and it can also work in combination with qualified insurance. Therefore, it pays well if you have this kind of financial assistance for your alcohol rehab treatment procedure.