Older adults, aged 65 and up, are one of the fastest-growing demographics in the Nation and the State. Older adults present unique challenges to effective treatment. Late-onset of SUDs is particularly high among this group and often hard to detect. In addition, symptoms of an SUD are often misinterpreted as signs of aging. Older adults are often more reluctant to enter treatment, as opposed to their younger counterparts, because of shame, guilt and the belief that they will find themselves in groups composed of much younger members. Effective treatment of older adults requires the use of techniques and approaches that counteract or minimize these issues and attitudes.
Older adults may come from a generation where it was uncommon to admit addictive behaviors and seek treatment for them. With age can come more isolation, more free time, more disposable income and changes in body chemistry — all of which can turn a weekend habit into a problem. Certain conditions can put older adults and seniors at an increased risk of Problem Gambling. Conditions include: relocation, depression, stress, loneliness, fear of death or loss of friends/loved ones.
Reasons Seniors Gamble
• As a leisure activity and for social interaction
• To increase fixed incomes
• Escape from loneliness or boredom
• Physical limitations may not permit past hobbies
OASAS has supported, and continues to support, the establishment programs that focus on meeting the unique needs of older adults. These programs offer patient -centered services in a safe and nonthreatening environment; building upon the life experience of the individual and treating them with dignity and respect.
The following treatment providers have established programs that specialize in the treatment of older adults with substance use disorders. For a complete list of substance use treatment programs, consult the find addiction treatment dashboard.
Senior Hope, Inc.
660 warren Street
Albany, NY 12208
Crouse Health, Inc.
Older Adults Addiction Recovery Services (OARS)
410 South Crouse Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210
Odyssey House, Inc.
Elder Care Program
George Rosenfeld Center for Recovery
13 Hell Gate Circle
New York, NY 10035