In 2014, more than 1 million adults over 65 experienced a SUD, including 978,000 adults with an alcohol use disorder and 161,000 with an illicit substance use disorder.
Due to the increase in risk of injury that comes with age, doctors also might prescribe opioids to an older adult after an accident or surgery. However, older adults may experience different effects from an opioid due to changes to their metabolism. Because of this, they are at an increased risk of sedation, confusion, falls, and toxic doses. Additionally, changes in memory might make it difficult for older adults to remember if they have already taken their medication.
Bring a list of all current medications and dosages.
If prescribed any medications by other providers, be sure to add these medications to the list.
Make a note of all over-the-counter medications and herbal or vitamin supplements taken, along with doses and frequency.
Describe any problems that may be caused by, or made worse by, any medications.
It is also important to note that although alcohol is legal for this age group, it continues to be a growing, often unrecognized, problem for older adults. Older adults should not drink any alcohol if they are taking certain prescription medications, have certain medical conditions, are planning to drive, or are recovering from a previous problem with alcohol.
Preventing Youth Misuse
Additionally, one of the most important things aging adults can do to prevent youth misuse of substances is to lock-up their medications, alcohol, and any other controlled substances in their home.
Additionally, one of the most important things aging adults can do to prevent youth misuse of substances is to lock-up their medications, alcohol, and any other controlled substances in their home. The Natick Police Department and Natick Health Department have also made it easy for Natick residents to dispose of their unused medications by dropping them in the medication disposal kiosk that is available 24/7 in the Natick Police Department lobby (20 E. Central Street, Natick).
Aging Natick residents and their families can access local, statewide and national resources to assist them with managing life changes and behavioral health challenges.
The Natick Council on Aging offers a variety of activities, programs and services geared towards improving the quality of life of those aging in the Natick Community. Susan Ramsey, the Director of Council on Aging, is located at the Community Senior Center and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-647-6540. Services are available and accessible to all residents of the Town of Natick through the multi-purpose Community Senior Center. The Council on Aging’s daily schedule and recent newsletters can be viewed here.
Natick Service Council is an independent, non-profit organization that connects, engages, and collaborates with the community to support Natick neighbors who are experiencing hardship or economic uncertainty by promoting self-sufficiency. The NSC serves Natick residents of all ages, including many aging adults who benefit from NSC case management and food pantry services. Contact the NSC directly at 508-655-1791.
BayPath Elder Services, Inc. offers home care and related services enabling people to live independently and comfortably in their homes while promoting their well-being and dignity. Serving Natick and surrounding MetroWest communities, BayPath also coordinates Meals on Wheels and is both an Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and an Aging Services Access Point (ASAP). Contact BayPath directly at 508-573-7200.
Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs – Promotes independence, empowerment, and well-being of older people, individuals with disabilities, and their families. The EOEA ensures that all Massachusetts residents have the opportunity to live healthy in every community in the Commonwealth. EOEA initiatives include:
Contact the EOEA toll free at 800-243-4636. The toll free Elder Abuse Hotline can be reached 24/7 at 800-922-2275.
Massachusetts Councils on Aging – Provides assistance to Councils on Aging across the Commonwealth as well as resources to aging adults and their families.
Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, approximately 10,400 children in the state are estimated to be living in the care of a grandparent without a biological parent present. The Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) serves as a resource on issues affecting grandparents and all relatives that are raising grandchildren. The GRG website offers information such as legal services, support group information and financial resources.
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has resources for older adults that can be found here.