Seniors and Addictions Will This Affect You?
As retired senior how will Seniors and Addictions affect your life? Hopefully, this is will be just another fact to put into your resource bag to make your retirement living a life that you love.
These facts about the addiction of alcohol and drugs effect on retirees lives were surprising to me.
The fact that the fastest growing group of addictions of both alcohol and drugs are senior citizens over 70! From somewhere deep inside me, something just screams ” This Is Wrong.”
However farther study and then thinking about the people I have been blessed to know in my lifetime, things began to add up. One of my relatives died from the complications of a lifelong dependency on laxatives. His lack of patience with allowing his body to heal itself was unsuccessful. Surgery healing also took too long. He had work to do and a family to take care of.
Giving him his due, he lived in a time when the medical practice still hadn’t developed the skills they now have. So his last few years were miserable and uncomfortable and more a living hell than they should have been due to this addiction to laxatives.
Even an over the counter medication addiction, when added to additional issues in your later life can make a total mess of things. (Laxatives plus aging takes a toll on life quality)
The Drug Store
Being raised in the Bible Belt of the south plains of Texas by parents who were God-fearing church attending people, my exposure to alcohol was a bit later in life than most.
However, we did have a local drugstore, and they were a goldmine of over-the-counter medications. No one warned us about the problems that you thought you were treating with the over-the-counter medications were often causing more issues. Who reads the fine print anyhow?
During this time there were still traveling carnivals that sold “Snake-Oil” or it’s equivalent!
Yes, times have changed. However, man’s desire to live life just as they think they want, and not pay the price with their health is still evident.
Stop and Think
Just think about all the medications for sale in any convenience store, grocery store, big box store you enter. You aren’t limited to a drug store. This makes using any of these medications as often as wanted a possibility.
While they are effective in the directions given with any of these substances, repeated use over time will lessen the good effects. You will need more of the product to get the same amount of relief that the first dosage gave.
See Your Doc
At some point, some good medical advice is needed.
Then add this easy availability of over-the-counter stuff to the fact that Baby Boomers started were starting alcohol use earlier in life that your parents did.
That is more years that you had hangovers, with headaches to be cured with over-the-counter medications. Adding more numbers to the ranks who were discovering relief that didn’t require a Dr. appointment, just a stop at the nearest drug counter.
Drugs and Rock and Roll
As Baby Boomers were also the front of the experimenting with drugs in the 60’s and 70’s, this opened more gateways to the common acceptance of over-the-counter medications. Just “take something” and you will feel better was an easier statement to adopt for everyday living.
By this time smoking had become the accepted action that expressed your independence. After all, tobacco was legal, if you were old enough to purchase it. All the cool people smoked.
How bad could it be for your health when it calms your nerves was accepted as a true statement. Who stopped smoking the minute the nerves were calm?
Soon you were reaching for a cigarette to keep the calm nerve situation going all day long. It was only after other health issues began arising that cigarette smoke began to bear the brunt of criticism and reproach.
As more and more health issues emerged, it became apparent that this wasn’t as good a deal as had first been thought.
Then Baby Boomers
So with this kind of attitude towards how they lived their lives, it’s no wonder that this group of retiring seniors are finding themselves dealing with aging in the same manner.
Just as the generation before them, having to deal with aging finds problems they are not prepared for, it’s easy to reach out for crutches. When you reach 70-years old, and your spouse passes away or becomes very sick, you are more alone.
Having an extra drink to help deal with what is happening will be just a temporary thing you tell yourself. Another rough, boring day dealing with decisions or stress or worry, all too reasonable to reach for another drink.
The cycle is established before anyone, least of all you realize.
Boredom then Depression
For other retired and older senior citizens, boredom sneaks into your life, unrealized. Days are just long and uneventful and you have nothing interesting to do. You aren’t working, the kids are raised. Your spouse is sick, there are money worries. Health issues.
You can even find yourself deeply depressed in such a short time. Worry and overwhelm can often cause depression in your life. Aging isn’t easy and dealing with the problems that come along at this time in your life isn’t easy either.
The stage is set for the addition of some kind.
The next big stumbling block for Aging retired senior citizens is Loneliness.
As the aging population is dealing with all the issues that go with getting older and living longer, quite often you are doing this as a single senior.
You are often widowed or your spouse is very sick and limited in being able to do things with you. Without the activities, you had as a couple, and the physical limitations of yours or your spouses, life can get pretty bleak.
Often you have outlived your friends from your school years, your siblings.
Your own children are busy with their lives. While not unattentive or uncaring, there are limitations for them as well. They don’t realize that sometimes you are reclusive because you are feeling the effects of an overindulgence of some sort. To tell the truth you are a bit embarrassed about what you did.
So, you just find yourself lonely. While in this state, an extra drink or extra sleeping pill or pain reliever only seems to be a one-time thing.
Don’t Become A Senior And Addicted
However, we all know where that leads. This is just a venerable time in a retirees life. You need to be aware of it. Make plans for what to do during this time in your life. Make sure these times are met with a plan of sorts to assure you the best life possible for you.
Plan for life after 70 and beyond.
The first step is to plan. (Click here for your free plan suggestions.) Sometimes a suggestion or two can help you get your own plan started.
While this may not be a place you allow your mind to go very often, you know there is a possibility you will find yourself with limited mobility, not able to be out and about. Or alone and needing to rebuild a life for yourself.
Have you looked at what you can find to do that will bring richness and fulfillment for this time in your life? Could it be volunteering in a local capacity? Maybe you could crochet or knit the caps for babies undergoing treatment for one or another condition in the hospital. Lap throws for nursing home residents. Yes, men can and do learn to do needlework.
Help deliver meals for your local Senior Center, if you can still drive. Often someone who delivers would like company when visiting the homes of the seniors in the area if you are not driving nowadays. They don’t mind swinging by and picking you up on the way.
Your church can usually use help in one way or another, answering the phone on a busy day to allow the staff to get caught up. Printing and folding bulletins. So many ways to help. Teaching Bible stories to kids of different ages. Helping clean and make ready for services. Maintaining the toddlers toys, or improving the play area.
Could your community use a local Senior FaceBook page?
The library often needs a volunteer to read to the children. Or teach an adult to read?
Do your food banks need help getting food ready for distribution? The clothes closet need help getting clothing ready for those in need?
The better choice
Any of these are surely better choices than letting your life slip into one of addiction or alcoholism.
You have now been made aware.
Who within your circle could be in a position of falling into this trap?
The good news is that Senior Adult recovery is much better than younger addicts. They may have to do some restructuring in their lives. Maybe even relocate. Removing them from the area or lifestyle that encourages addiction.
The payoff is a better and healthier later life. Is this not worth some intervention in your life, or someone else’s? Another consideration for loving life in retirement is to build a business online. That is what I did, and any chance of boredom vanished! To find out if this is what you need for your own retirement living click on this link.
Click on now Retired and Loving It. This can move boredom out of your retirement living.
I am including a few sites for you to do some research of your own for knowledge about this problem of Seniors and Addiction and some of the help that is available. I do not know about the quality of help they provide. However, the information will give you more knowledge about this issue.
Starting with the local services seems a better source to start to me, but just knowing that help is there is a start. Educate yourself. Make yourself aware. Live retired and love your life.
Some good facts about Seniors and Addictions
More information about Seniors and Addictions
Then one additional link for Seniors and Addictions