Influx of Boomer Addicts Enter Nursing Homes
As the Woodstock generation ages, older adults struggling with chemical dependency in addition to medical issues are becoming more and more common in nursing homes, leaving many facilities struggling for resources even as state legislatures expand funding for treatment programs for chemically dependent seniors.
"I'm getting three or four referrals (from hospitals) a week," said Dean DeMulling, referral manager for the Evergreen Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Olympia. "These are for people whose principal diagnosis is chemical dependency but who also have a medical illness."While some have never let go of the lifestyle they knew in the 60's and 70's, many were sober for years when injury or illness landed them on pain killers, triggering old addictions.
These new populations are at odds not only with the norms and mores of Depression-era elderly also living at nursing homes, but also financial resources and even staff.
"The patients, many of whom are younger than the traditional 65-and-older nursing home population, are allowed to leave the facility, as well as have guests. That means they're at risk to go out and drink or take drugs, and then come back and cause behavior problems with staff and other patients," DeMulling said.Read more: Addicts flood nursing homes
Posted In: Addictions |
Posted by FindCounseling.com Staff on October 05, 2006 at 03:54 AM | Permalink
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