Why seniors develop a drug dependency?

  • September 04, 2019
    Why seniors develop a drug dependency?

    The misuse of prescription drugs is a growing problem in the United States. What many people do not know that prescription drug abuse is growing with elders. According to research, there are one million adults over 65 or older who have a substance disorder. Home care in Omaha professionals want you to know that it can be dangerous for your elderly loved one because it  can affect their health. 

    What causes addiction in the elderly? 

    It might be a surprise to many that your parent or elderly loved one can become so dependent on drugs. The reason behind it could be because of a medical problem. They could have had to get on medication to control their blood pressure or take away chronic pain. 

    Or there could have been a life-changing event they experienced that made them rely on it. This could have been losing a spouse, loved one or having to lose their independence. These are other triggers that can sometimes trigger addiction in seniors. 

    • Loss of income

    • Having to relocate

    • Mental and physical decline

    • Retirement

    • Not being able to sleep

    Signs your parents or elderly loved one might have a prescription drug abuse

    It can be difficult to spot if your parent or elderly loved one might be addicted to prescription drugs when you do not live with them. Whether your loved one lives at home and gets home care in Omaha help or they live with you, here are some red flags you should know. 

    A change in their mood or behavior

    Have you noticed your loved one’s mood changes out of nowhere? Are they no longer happy and energetic as they were before? It could be a red flag that your loved one could have a  prescription drug addiction. Beware because they could also become hostile. 

    They ask you to take them to different pharmacies

    One red flag everyone should know is if they go to different pharmacies for the same prescription. If they are asking you or an in-home caregiver to take them to three different pharmacies, you might want to question it.. 

    Taking higher doses than instructed

    Whether they are taking medication to ease their depression or chronic pain, check to make sure they are taking the instructed amount. It is a major red flag if your loved one is taking more than prescribed. Taking more than instructed could be deadly. 

    If they are carrying pills in their pockets

    When you are washing your loved one’s clothes, have you taken out pills? Or have you spotted your loved one tries to dig out medication from their pockets? This sign is one you should not ignore. Individuals who have become addicted will want to keep an extra supply with them. 

    What should you do if your parent or loved one has a drug dependency? 

    It might be difficult for an elder to spot their addiction. If you believe that your parent or loved one might have an addiction to prescription drugs, you should know to get professional help and tell their doctor. 

    If your parent lives at home and you cannot always visit them, you can always hire home care in Omaha professional. At Akkase Home Health Care, we have professional caregivers who can take care and visit them every day to ease your worry. Contact us today to learn more. 



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