- Age-Appropriate: people of a similar age, unique treatment & learning styles
- Enjoy Life: decreases physical health problems & increases independence
Rehab Programs for Older Adults
You only get one life - so why not embrace the joys of each moment? No matter what your situation, never accept a treatable disease as an inevitable condition. If you need treatment, you can find understanding and supportive care among people of a similar age at a senior-focused addiction treatment or behavioral health program.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do it on your own. Treatment works, and if it’s an option, age-appropriate care makes sense. Though you could get help in a mixed-age setting, age-appropriate programs increase your comfort and improve the odds of a good outcome.
Why Is Age-Appropriate Treatment Important?
According to SAMHSA, ideal treatment programs for older adults differ from general adult programs in a number of important ways, such as:
- Program staff members should enjoy and have experience working with seniors.
- Program content should focus on helping seniors cope with problems like loneliness, bereavement, depression and loss.
- The program should explicitly help seniors rebuild a social support network.
- Program staff should be flexible and deliver treatment content in ways that ensure client understanding. This could mean slowing the rate of delivery between slides or increasing text size in handouts.
- The program should help seniors make linkages to
outside support agencies, as appropriate.
- Since seniors often feel shame and guilt about
their need for treatment, programs need to be supportive and self-esteem
building, and never confrontational.
Fortunately, research is clear on this – substance abuse treatment works, and though many older adults never seek help, those that get help tend to do as well or better than younger adults getting similar therapies.
Why Get Treatment?
Reducing alcohol or drug misuse:
- Increases cognitive and emotional health; it helps you think clearly and feel good.
- Decreases physical health problems.
- Decreases the risks of falls and injury.
- Increases the odds of lengthy independence (drug
or alcohol misuse can accelerate your need for living assistance).
But really, you don’t quit alcohol or drugs to prevent problems; you do it to open the door to greater health, better thinking, more energy and vitality as well as a better emotional well being. You do it to open the door again to all the pleasures of life and to make your retirement years the best years of your life.
Change is possible!
Page last updated Mar 30, 2014