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Older Adult Program

A personalized, flexible approach to treatment gives older adults the support they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives in recovery.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that 2.5 million older adults have an alcohol or drug problem. This issue may go unnoticed by family members and friends. In many cases, even the person with the alcohol or drug problem may not realize the extent of the problem. Being aware of unusual behavior in your loved one is a critical first step in diagnosing a substance use disorder and getting treatment.

Caron has provided treatment for substance use disorders for more than 60 years. We know that treatment utilizing dialectical and cognitive behavioral therapies is most effective in teaching older adults new coping and relationship skills. We use proven behavioral health therapies that preserve dignity, build self-esteem, and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Recovery is possible at any age. Caron is here to help.

An Adaptable, Comprehensive Treatment Program

Caron’s specialized program for older adults addresses addiction along with co-occurring conditions commonly seen in older adults. The program is effective for the use of early intervention, treatment, and relapse prevention.

We embrace the power of a personalized, flexible approach to achieving wellness, adapting our program for a person’s age and physical, mental, and emotional condition. Significant medical issues—like chronic pain, diabetes, or cardiac problems—are also taken into account in the patient’s individualized treatment plan.

Throughout treatment, our multidisciplinary addiction specialists continually reassess and adjust care plans, helping patients build social support networks, gain self-awareness, overcome difficult emotions such as grief and depression, and restore their sense of meaning and purpose.

The daily schedule is crafted to adhere to each patient’s pace with the inclusion of activities that take into account mobility and possible co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and trauma.

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Treatment Components

A multidisciplinary treatment team creates a personalized plan to treat substance abuse, co-occurring disorders, and significant medical issues. The plan includes these components as needed:

The plan also encompasses wellness therapies such as meditation, massage, yoga, exercise, physical therapy, acupuncture, and others as recommended by the multidisciplinary treatment team.

Couples who want to come together for treatment are provided private rooms.

At six months, 93% of older adults contacted by Caron’s My First Year of Recovery program or Recovery Support Services reported being sober.

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An Experienced, Dedicated Treatment Team

The team of dedicated professionals working in the Older Adult Program includes:

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

Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse in Older Adults

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 you are a loved one or caregiver, you should be aware of these signs and symptoms that may indicate substance abuse:

  • 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
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