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Addiction Rehab for Older Adults

For older adults struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, our proven treatment preserves dignity, builds self-esteem and leads to lifelong healing.

Addiction in older adults is one of America’s fastest growing health issues. Today, 2.5 million older adults have an alcohol or drug problem. Natural metabolic changes in older adults can often result in them experiencing more significant effects from alcohol and medications without increasing the amount they consume, this may lead to falls and injuries. Addiction in older adults can be difficult to detect, as warning signs mimic insomnia, forgetfulness and other common age-related health issues. Facing difficult lifestyle changes such as the loss of loved ones, transitioning to retirement, and physical health issues can lead to self-medicating.

Widowers over the age of 75 have the highest rate of alcoholism in the United States, and older adults are hospitalized as often for alcohol-related problems as they are for heart attacks. [1] Older adults purchase one-third of Rx drugs and three-fourths of over-the-counter medications sold in the United States. In many cases, opioids for chronic pain and other medications prescribed for insomnia or anxiety, are inadvertently combined or mixed with alcohol resulting in an increase in complications, medically and cognitively, which could increase the rate of addiction in older adults.

Many older adults are often experiencing difficult lifestyle changes such as the loss of loved ones, transitioning to retirement, and physical health issues, which can lead them to self-medicate.

We offer rehab for individuals that meets their medical, physical and cognitive needs while maintaining their dignity and privacy.

The leading provider of proven, comprehensive, personalized behavioral health care and addiction rehab for older adults, Caron is a dignifying place where older adults, or adults needing a higher level of physical assistance, can embrace change and experience real transformation. In some cases, older adults may even reverse the effects of dementia and memory loss.

At Caron, we can help you build a treatment program that meets your needs.

Signs and Symptoms of Abuse in Older Adults

Could Your Loved One Have a Drug or Alcohol Problem?

Addiction to alcohol or drugs often goes unnoticed in an older person. Some of the signs of aging can be similar to signs of possible substance abuse. Medications that many older people take may mask or mimic substance abuse symptoms. Older people generally also drink or take drugs at home. If they are retired, there is no one at a workplace to notice symptoms of substance abuse.

Yet substance abuse is a serious problem for older people. The health consequences are more serious, from increased chances of falling to harmful medication interactions.

Substance abuse may be more likely to occur after a life change, such as retirement, the death of a loved one, or being diagnosed with a serious or debilitating illness.

These are possible signs of substance abuse to be aware of and investigate:

  • Agitation
  • Altered liver function
  • Anemia
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in mental abilities
  • Changes in eating habits, particularly not eating as much
  • Decline in personal cleanliness
  • Depression
  • Drinking in spite of warning labels on prescription drugs
  • A fall
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Hostility/violence
  • Incontinence
  • Increased confusion
  • Irritability
  • Lapses in memory
  • Loss of friends or not staying in regular touch
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Marital problems
  • Memory impairment
  • Mood swings
  • Not being oriented to date, time and place
  • Panic attacks
  • Problems sleeping and/or sleeping more during the day
  • Repeated falls
  • Selling possessions
  • Slurred speech
  • Smell of alcohol on breath
  • Solitary or secretive drinking
  • Unable to complete activities of daily living
  • Unexplained burns/bruises

Caron’s Older Adult Program addresses the complex issues that are often a part of substance abuse in older adults. We can help you and your parent. Recovery is possible at any age.

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Individualized Care

Each older adult patient at Caron is assigned a multidisciplinary treatment team, made up of experienced, dedicated professionals such as:

  • Licensed psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Certified and master-level addiction counselors
  • American Board of Addiction Medicine certified medical doctors
  • Certified nutritionists
  • Physical therapists and health and wellness experts
  • Spiritual leaders

The full-time, on-site team will initially perform several different evaluations of the patient and his or her family to evaluate health status, diagnose substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Significant medical issues—like chronic pain, diabetes or cardiac problems—are taken into account in the patient’s individualized treatment plan. The team then designs an individual and integrated treatment plan, which is continuously monitored and updated according to the patient’s progress. In addition to helping the patient find non-addictive ways to manage pain, the team will also assess all of the medication the patient takes with a goal of reducing medication where possible.

Older adults stay in rehab for varying lengths of time. It’s important to keep an open mind regarding length of stay, as our ultimate goal is to help each person make a full recovery—mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Learn more about evaluations and treatment plans.

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Staff Psychologist
Clinical Director of the Older Adult Program
Staff Physician
Dr. Wang oversees the older adults unit and women’s care at Caron.
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Compassionate Treatment

Our program is adapted to a person’s age and condition and is effective for the use of early intervention, treatment, and relapse prevention. Our innovative age-specific program for older adults includes:

  • On-site medically supervised detoxification
  • Supportive group therapy, which will focus on such issues as:
    • Bereavement
    • Denial
    • Anger
    • Shame
    • Age-related loss and loneliness
  • Weekly group sessions facilitated by a psychologist
  • Cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapies (CBT and DBT) which are effective in teaching relationship skills; allowing patients to rebuild social support networks; and promoting self-awareness to overcome grief, loneliness and depression
  • Appropriate medical, psychological, and psychiatric services
  • One-on-one certified nurse assistants (CNA) upon admission, with daily assessment of continuation of services based on mobility and medical needs
  • Connections to medical and aging services, as well as medical services and case management.
  • Health and wellness activities and therapies such as:
    • Art therapy
    • Massage
    • Acupuncture
    • Hydrotherapy
    • Movement therapy (music, stretching)
    • Yoga therapy
    • Meditation
    • Mindfulness
  • The ability for couples to come to treatment together
  • A dedicated and separate unit, with spacious private rooms and bathrooms available, in a new state-of-the-art medical center

Each of the above components work in tandem to restore self-worth and build support networks that foster lasting change.

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Family Involvement

Family members have diverse responses to a loved one’s addiction. Adult children often struggle with fear, anger, frustration and worry. Spouses commonly deny or enable their loved one’s addiction. Because we believe the family is integral to the patient’s recovery, we incorporate family members into the treatment process from day one. Our staff has a great deal of experience providing family education about the disease, the recovery process, and the importance of self-care. Learn more about family education for older adults.

If you or an older adult you love struggles with addiction, take heart in the fact that older men and women experience the highest rates of recovery following rehab than any age group. Contact Caron to begin pursuing recovery today.

Read the Harris Poll Survey - Identifying the Signs of Substance Abuse in Older Adults

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