Sending A Senior To Rehab
Feb 2014

One situation that people rarely think about is the scenario of having to send their elderly or senior parents to a rehab facility. Although it may seem uncommon initially, there are a lot of senior and elderly individuals that find themselves in rehab programs. This is mainly due to the fact that if they are not properly monitored in regards to their medication, they may begin to develop an addiction to prescription medications. This is particularly true in elderly individuals who are dealing with pain medication, because they start dosing themselves more frequently to treat the pain, not realizing that they are developing an addiction.

It can be difficult to make the decision to send your parent to a rehab program because you may question if it’s within your role as their child or caregiver. Naturally, the elderly are the less likely demographic that we imagine to need rehab at some point in their lives, because we typically associate the idea of drug abuse and substance abuse with teens and youth who are using drugs that they find access to on the street. However, in the most recent years, prescription drugs have become a significant source for addiction and substance abuse. Pain medication in particular is known for leading to addictions, depending on the type of drugs that have been prescribed.

Contacting rehab programs directly can be helpful, although if you don’t know who or where to contact, you should always seek out the advice of a professional for further information first. Although you may be apprehensive about getting involved in this manner, sometimes it’s the best choice -- no one ever regrets possibly saving a loved one’s life from the path of addiction, but they always regret not getting involved.

If you’re concerned about whether or not your parent is going to be able to handle going into a drug rehab program, you might want to consider some of the specialized options that are available. Some rehab programs focus on working with people in certain age demographics, so you might feel more comfortable with sending your loved one to a location where there are other elderly people who are receiving treatment as well. Another option is to send your parent to a privatized drug rehab program. This may be more suitable because the facilities typically are a bit more comfortable, luxurious, and may offer more activities for them to participate in.

Other times, you may be able to have the rehab process taken care of in a hospital. This depends on the types of prescription drugs that your parent may be addicted to. There are a lot of hospitals which keep seniors who have prescription drug addictions under careful monitoring and care because they are concerned about the withdrawal symptoms. Having a senior go through withdrawal at a hospital is one of the best options because you can feel more comfortable knowing that they will receive the medical treatment that they need in order to deal with it safely.


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