Residential Assisted Living & Rehab Centers Offering Senior Addiction Treatment

Assisted Living Options for People Struggling with Substance Abuse Addiction

Alcohol and illicit drug use tend to decline or stop after young adulthood. However, almost a million adults older than 65 suffer from substance use disorders (SUDs). Between 2000 and 2012, the proportion of rehab admissions of older adults to various treatment facilities increased from 3.4% to 7%.1

The elderly typically experience various health conditions and other issues that have a considerable impact on their lives. As the difficulty of common daily tasks increases, they may become vulnerable to substance abuse and accompanying risks. Many older adults struggling with alcohol or drug addiction have medical comorbidities. Some are using opioid medications for chronic pain. These factors affect their quality of life, potentially leading to various substance use, in an attempt to ease both physical and emotional hardships.2

After becoming unable to live unassisted, some older adults may have to move from their homes to retirement homes or assisted living communities, where they can get 24-hour care. Finding an appropriate facility for the elderly who suffer from alcohol or drug addiction presents a particular challenge since assisted living facilities aren’t commonly equipped to provide senior addiction treatment. In such cases, looking for an appropriate inpatient or outpatient rehab program might introduce better options.3

What Are Residential Rehabilitation Centers?

Residential treatment centers refer to live-in substance abuse treatment facilities. Patients suffering from addiction issues can undergo evidence-based inpatient treatment in a safe environment. They involve various levels of care and offer dual-diagnosis treatment, so patients with co-occurring disorders can address their issues simultaneously.3

High-quality rehab centers offer a variety of individually tailored treatment plans and approaches, so they’re capable of providing suitable care to the elderly with substance abuse issues. Even though this isn’t a permanent residence solution, like assisted living, older adults battling addiction can spend several months at inpatient rehab facilities for the elderly, until they complete their treatment and are ready to move back to an assisted living home or another suitable residence.3

Assisted living facilities for elderly alcoholics

What Is Assisted Living?

Assisted living homes are facilities that provide long-term housing and care to elderly people who need help with everyday activities. This involves various levels of assistance, like personal and basic health care, supervision, meals, and community activities.4

As opposed to nursing homes, assisted living homes are usually not suitable for seriously ill patients. They simply offer help with basic daily tasks, like bathing and getting dressed, and don’t usually render round-the-clock health care. However, some do provide nursing or even specialized care for seniors with mental health issues, cognitive problems, or dementia.4

What’s the Cost of Assisted Living?

The cost of assisted living facilities depends on several factors, like location, comfort level, size of the facility, intensity of care, and the various services it offers. Any additional services can also drive up the price. Sometimes there are added costs for transportation or use of optional amenities.5

Alcoholism in Senior Citizens

Alcohol is the most abused substance among older adults. During the last 20 years, its use among individuals over 60 has been steadily increasing.6 The dangers of alcohol abuse are even more concerning than in younger people because, with age, the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol becomes less efficient, increasing the risk of both cognitive and physical problems.7

Since some seniors suffer from age-related health conditions whose effects resemble alcohol addiction symptoms, excessive alcohol use might go unnoticed.3 Alcohol abuse indicators could be easily misinterpreted as effects of certain medications. Since most seniors take at least one medication, and many take more, interactions between them and alcohol are also to be considered when creating a treatment plan.7

For all these reasons, as well as limited resources, assisted living homes might not be an ideal solution for senior citizens struggling with alcoholism. Most are unable to provide the necessary level of care.3

Substance Abuse in the Elderly

The problem of substance abuse among the elderly has been underidentified for decades due to a misconception that older people don’t normally use illicit substances. However, drug use among older adults is not uncommon and both the percentages and numbers of the elderly in need of substance abuse treatment are expected to rise significantly.8

Aside from illicit drugs, older adults might also develop an addiction to certain types of prescription medication. Since taking multiple medications is quite common in this age group, the nonmedical or diverted use of such drugs can cause serious harm. Age-related health conditions, as well as interactions between alcohol, prescription medication, or illicit drugs, can make severe adverse effects, like an overdose, more likely to happen.7

Aside from physical dangers, other potential risks include cognitive and mental health problems. Managing chronic pain with opioid medication can also increase the risk of developing an addiction.7

Inpatient Rehab Facilities for the Elderly

Licensed rehab centers offer a wide choice of treatment plans and approaches to fit everyone’s specific needs, including the elderly. Substance abuse experts typically outline an effective recovery program after an evaluation, so the patient can be directed to an appropriate facility.7

Inpatient or residential rehab centers provide SUD treatment to the patients who live at the facility during treatment. Aside from accommodation, meals, and medical care, they provide safe, medically monitored drug detox if necessary. Patients can also attend psychotherapy and counseling sessions, or group therapy, and other types of activities, depending on the center.3

Inpatient treatment can be short-term (about a month) or long-term (60-90 days), according to the severity of addiction and potential co-occurring disorders. This period of inpatient treatment can replace a stay at an assisted living facility, until the completion of therapy. After the patient has achieved stable recovery, they can return to their previous place of residence.3

Outpatient Rehab Programs for Seniors in Assisted Living

As opposed to inpatient treatment, outpatient programs don’t require patients to live at the rehab facility for the elderly. They regularly come in for therapy, usually a few times a week, depending on their needs, and then return to their assisted living home. They have meetings with treatment specialists and attend individual or group therapy. This type of treatment is better suited for people with less severe substance abuse issues.3

Seniors’ Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Having a dual diagnosis is not uncommon for people suffering from substance abuse disorders. The rates are also high among older adults. This population group is particularly vulnerable since age-related cognitive decline and dementia may exacerbate their addiction problem. If not addressed together as part of SUD treatment, co-occurring mental health issues can lead to both physical and behavioral problems.7

Screening methods used to diagnose and treat co-occurring disorders are adapted to the elderly, so an age-appropriate treatment plan can be made. Mental health issues and disorders that commonly co-occur with addiction, as well as physical health conditions, include:7

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Bipolar disorder.
  • PTSD.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Cognitive decline and memory issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Elderly Rehab Treatment in Long-Term Facilities

Assisted living homes don’t usually have the adequate means, services, and staff to deal with addiction issues. Effective SUD treatment requires evidence-based methods and approaches that are offered in licensed substance abuse treatment facilities. Addiction specialists also use medication-assisted therapy if needed. Age-appropriate therapy approaches for the elderly are available at top-grade addiction rehab centers.3

Long-term treatment is a more effective alternative to assisted living for the elderly with alcohol or drug abuse issues, particularly in cases of severe addiction or a history of multiple treatment attempts and relapses.3

What Are the Advantages of Seniors’ Assisted Living?

The main benefits that assisted living homes can offer to older adults suffering from substance abuse disorders include:9

  • A caring setting and peer companionship.
  • Well-trained, compassionate staff.
  • Supervised medications and monitoring.
  • Various activities and wellness programs.

How to Pick the Right Assisted Living Facility for the Elderly With Alcohol or Drug Addiction

If you’re seeking an assisted living facility for your senior family member suffering from alcohol or drug abuse, you should take the time to do some research, check out other patients’ experiences with a certain facility, and make sure to pay attention to specific criteria that speak to the quality of care they provide:3

  • Staff certifications.
  • Medication guidelines.
  • Counseling guidance and services.
  • Mental health assistance and resources.
  • Group-based programs and activities.

However, before deciding on an assisted living facility, the most effective choice for achieving lasting sobriety is the successful completion of treatment at a rehab facility, as well as following a recommended aftercare plan.1

Tips for Finding Rehab & Assisted Living Facilities for Addiction Treatment Near Me

To find the best possible care for your senior family member, you can reach out to American Addiction Centers (AAC), a nationwide network of licensed and accredited rehab facilities. AAC’s trained medical staff provides high-quality care and offers specialized age-sensitive treatment options and services for medically compromised patients, veterans, and other specific population groups. Expert staff is trained to handle various medical challenges, like cardiac or respiratory conditions, or patients restricted to a wheelchair.

Aside from the needs of elderly patients, AAC facilities offer tailored treatment programs to accommodate particular needs of different population groups:

To help you make the right decision, AAC representatives will offer the necessary guidance and direct you to one of the top-rated rehab centers in the following locations:

  • Hollywood, Tampa, FL
  • Dallas, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Worcester, MA
  • Oxford, MS
  • Lafayette, NJ
  • Orange County, CA
  • Other locations nationwide

Additionally, you can use the AAC directory and explore rehab centers by location or use the online benefit verification form on the website to check your insurance coverage. You can also call the AAC helpline and discuss specific options with one of the admission navigators. They can offer general information about addiction and the admission process, assess the situation, and guide you through the intake evaluation and steps of addiction treatment for seniors, including same-day admission if necessary.

Traveling out of State for Treatment and Other Considerations

When choosing a substance abuse facility, older adults generally like to stay close to home unless advised by their doctor or another specialist to travel out of state to a specific rehab center.10

The main factors to consider when choosing an alcohol or drug rehab center are the level and intensity of care that a certain facility offers. The cost of out-of-state treatment is generally higher, which is a determining factor for most people. Various additional options and amenities can also raise the cost significantly.7

You should also make sure that the chosen treatment, aside from detoxification and SUD therapy, aims to improve the overall quality of life of older adults. This significantly reduces the risk of relapse, as well as taking part in an aftercare program, like attending support group meetings.7

Will My Insurance Policy Cover Long-Term Rehab & Assisted Living for the Elderly?

Health insurance providers are required by The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 to include addiction coverage in their plans. However, they may not cover prolonged stay at rehab facilities or the cost of assisted living. Detoxification and shorter-term treatment are usually covered, particularly when co-occurring with mental health or cognitive decline issues.11You can check your or your family member’s coverage by reaching out to your insurance provider. They can offer you the covered or low-cost and state-funded treatment options, or you can cover the remaining cost of treatment yourself through private pay.11