Chemical dependency is tough on you and your family, no matter what age you may be. However, for people over fifty years old, chemical dependency treatment should differ from treatment for younger patients for a variety of reasons. Why do older patients often require a specialized approach to chemical dependency treatment? Keep reading to find out.
- Different Values. People who were raised in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s have a divergent value system than people born later. Patients in this age group tend to hold themselves to very strict behavioral standards. When they fail to measure up to these internalized codes of conduct and thinking, these patients tend to feel high levels of shame and blame themselves. This is in stark contrast to later generations who were raised in more liberal times, where substance abuse was more prevalent in popular culture.
- More Independence. Older patients tend to be seen as authoritative figures in their family and often in their careers. Because of this, they are not accustomed to being challenged on issues such as their own behaviors. Additionally, patients such as these often view chemical dependency as a weakness that should not be seen by others, which can lead to denial of the problem.
- Compounded Grief. Many older patients have dealt with more death in their lifetime than younger patients. They may also be struggling with the loss of a career through retirement or perhaps a loss of mobility. This buildup of grief, when not addressed in a healthy manner, can lead to relapse in the future.
At Sundown M Ranch in Yakima, Washington, we fully understand the issues that many patients cope with while undergoing chemical dependency treatment. If you’d like to know more about what services we can offer you or a loved one, please call us today at (509) 654-9033.