Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ways to Support Seniors In Addiction Recovery

(The following is an article that was submitted to me by a reader from the blog.  This sends a good message.  I hope you enjoy.  Thank you,  Constance Ray!.  Love and light- Lynn)

How to Help Someone Find New Opportunities and Reclaim Their Life
by Constance Ray
For a senior loved one who is undergoing treatment for addiction, the holidays may be more stressful than usual, primarily if a lifetime of hurt has occurred on their end. Despite your relationship, you can help your senior relative to maintain a sense of normalcy and offer support that will help them reclaim their lives, which will also assist you in rediscovering your connection with each other. Here are some tips on finding new ways to cope with your loved one’s addiction and move forward this holiday season. 

Know the Triggers
For many older adults, immobility, pain, depression and even loneliness are a part of life and can potentially lead them down the road to substance abuse, particularly during the holidays.Triggers will often go unnoticed, but being aware of changes in behaviors or actions will help you better understand how addiction slowly integrates itself into someone’s life. Opioid abuse is at an all-time high, according to U.S. News, and over 53% of patients are senior adults who are in need of medications, making them more vulnerable to drug abuse.

Check for symptoms of use, such as solitary drinking, loss of interest in hobbies and memory, slurred speech, hostility, depression, or confusion. Since we are at a frenzied time of year when emotions are high, the chances of relapse for an addict increases, according to the Huffington Post, so taking the time to recognize the signs will help someone who is facing a dangerous habit.

Finding Support
Anxiety also increases during this time of year, but support is available in many forms, such as family, religious leaders, a trusted friend or even a therapist who can provide sound advice. An addict may also help themselves by implementing self-care habits, such as obtaining a healthy diet, exercise and sleep, all known to alleviate symptoms of depression while increasing more positivity and joy in one’s life.

There are also various halfway houses, or sober living homes, enabling an individual to become clean in a dry environment away from others who are using. Halfway houses are especially useful for a senior who is unable to find care within their community. Halfway homes will also cultivate a caring, loving environment that meets the needs of someone coping with mental, physical and emotional conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and chronic stress.

Addictions can be generational, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, creating a rift between the user and family members. In most cases, it is possible to mend broken relationships by taking necessary steps for change. Perhaps a senior loved one who has used in the past is looking to create a connection again. In their eyes, the past may be behind them; however, for the victim, a history of neglect and hurt may be at the forefront of their memory. Therefore, forgiveness may not come as quickly, but over time, each step should be seen as a triumph to regain trust again.

Dependency can lead a person to steal, lie, and even project hurtful things onto others, and there is a chance these issues could creep up again. With healthy communication, both the user and loved one can reach a common ground and understanding, but it’s essential that your dialogue is productive and doesn’t lead to conflict. Also, there is a chance a relapse could occur if stress, negative influences, and other factors overcome someone, so try being a good listener and offering your help whenever needed.

Creating a new relationship with an elderly loved one is possible. Taking your time to heal will help the both of you to reach an understanding and cultivate a healthy co-existence. With effort and patience, you can help a senior loved one to recuperate from years of substance or alcohol abuse by keeping these tips in mind during the holiday season. 

1 comment:

EA RW said...

Just want to add the following