Elderly Alcoholism Intervention Brookings SD

The Golden Years do not come gently into our lives and unfortunately we may not be prepared for it. Suddenly we find ourselves retired from our jobs and we must prepare ourselves for a new way of life. Many of us have hobbies. Some people volunteer to work for organizations. Many relocate away from family and friends and swear that they are off to experience a new way of life.

First Step Counseling Servs/Brookings
7020 Sunset Road,
Brookings, SD57006
(605) 693-3629
www.takeyourfirststep.com

Services Offered: Substance abuse treatment

Residency: Outpatient

Payment Accepted: Self payment, Private health insurance

Specializing in DUI/DWI offenders

First Step Counseling was established in 1983 by Lou Ann Solem and the late Kent Solem, Certified Chemical Dependency professionals.
Our mission is the diagnosis and treatment of abuse and dependency related to alcohol and drugs as well as addressing the thinking
errors associated with chemical dependency. We believe that alcoholism and drug addiction should be treated as a health issue rather
than a moral issue, and our outpatient program allows individuals to remain in their homes and continue with their jobs and family life.
First Step is fully accredited by the State of South Dakota Department of Human Services. First Step is committed to providing:
confidential, professional, caring and prompt service
a focus on physical, mental, spiritual, social and emotional well-being
programs designed to achieve individual and family wholeness
counselors and staff who are dedicated to honesty, compassion and professionalism
low-cost, community based programs designed to meet our clients’ needs

Road to Recovery: The Elderly and Alcoholism

Provided By: 

Road to Recovery: The Elderly and Alcoholism

Carol Greenberg

Friday, September 14, 2007 Perhaps, the most difficult thing for people of advanced years to do is to give up an old habit. That habit of drinking too much alcohol. It may have started out as a cocktail or two before dinner followed with a glass of wine with dinner and maybe a brandy before bedtime but now that we find ourselves in the Golden Years and with time on our hands the drinking may have increased and we have become alcoholics. Of course, we would never admit it. We stay in denial until well meaning friends or family members tell us that we drink too much. Naturally, we become defensive and sometimes very nasty and tell them to mind their own business. This attitude has divided families and chased away friends.

The Golden Years do not come gently into our lives and unfortunately we may not be prepared for it. Suddenly we find ourselves retired from our jobs and we must prepare ourselves for a new way of life. Many of us have hobbies. Some people volunteer to work for organizations. Many relocate away from family and friends and swear that they are off to experience a new way of life. Others stay at home, become depressed, or too ill to contemplate a change. Illness, doctors, a lack of family involvement, and the horror of facing death can be the cause of many cases of depression. And, depression can lead to drowning one's sorrows in that bottle of alcohol.

Mildred B., a seventy year old grandmother, thought she was handling her retirement well. She volunteered at the library, walked her dog, and enjoyed preparing her own meals. Every evening she would prepare a Martini and eat dinner watching TV. As time passed she began to have two Martinis and then three and would skip dinner entirely. Her children noticed her mood swings and became worried when they would call and she would ramble over the phone. They knew that she had been drinking but did not know how to stop her. Finally, one night, after she had too much she fell asleep in her chair and when suddenly awakened, stood up, fell and broke her hip.

This is not an unusual story. I spoke to Dr. James Kohl, an orthopedist, who told me that many of his elderly patients come to his office with fractures, broken bones, or worse, and the first thing he asks them if they are alcoholics. If they deny it he gives them a written test prepared by John Hopkins University. He confirmed that blackouts are common among alcoholics, especially the elderly. He said, although many people can drink socially and in moderation, as we age, that ability diminishes, though few of us realize it. Our motor skills naturally decrease, and the risk of falling increases. Many seniors, for example take medications for high blood pressure, heart disease and more. Mixing alcohol with those medications can be lethal.

I also interviewed Dr. Sharon Richter, a certified addictions counselor, who explained that much of the alcohol problem to the m...

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