Alcoholism has no prejudice. It does not care about your race, your age, or your income. Alcohol is one of the worst things to become addicted to, because it’s legal. Whether you are going to bar or drinking at home, there is still a risk to your health. Seniors who suffer from alcoholism are not alone. There are ways to take control of your life, of the alcoholism and have a healthier lifestyle.
Why Seniors Should Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol contains ethanol, which is also found in gasoline and other flammable substances. Ethanol can decrease lung function and in extreme cases, can cause suffocation. If it interacts with certain medications, alcohol can cause a stroke, blood clots and even death. Extended use can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver and kidney failure. Yet another reason alcohol is detrimental to seniors, is because it can cause unsteadiness and imbalance, potentially leading to dangerous falls.
Many falls at assisted living facilities are intoxication related. The staff is not allowed to go into a patient’s room and remove alcoholic beverages. Even if drinking results in a fall, assisted living facilities cannot violate a patient’s rights by taking the alcohol from them. Staff will inform the doctor, so they can stop the medication that could interact with the alcohol.
After multiple episodes of falling from alcohol the doctor has the option of petitioning the court system for a Marchman Act. A Marchman Act is an order, approved by a judge, forcing the person into inpatient treatment because the person is going to die from their alcohol use.
Partial Hospitalization Program
There are more solutions than ever to alcoholism. Medicare provides a program called, “Partial Hospitalization Program.” This is a program meant to help the patient sober up and pays for 20 days of rehabilitation. Patients will learn about addiction and how to live a sober life without turning to alcohol. Additionally, there are also multiple public funding grants available to help pay for more days at an in house rehabilitation program.
Another popular treatment is the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous or “A.A.,” was founded in 1935 by a reformed alcoholic stockbroker named Bill Wilson. More than 75 years later, meetings are held multiple times a days and times, throughout the United States, as well as internationally. The primary purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous is to, “stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.” There is no cost to join A.A. and all members are recovering alcoholics themselves. Many alcoholics have been successful in maintaining their sobriety with the help of A.A.
The best option for anyone who is suffering from alcoholism to do is tell someone they trust they feel they have a problem. Once you tell others, you can be held accountable and people can help you stay on track to getting sober. Do not be afraid to change your life no matter your age, you are valued and your life is precious. It is never too late to become a healthy and happy.