Elderly Alcoholism Intervention Norfolk NE

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.

Behavioral Health Specialists Inc
Sunrise Place
923 East Norfolk Avenue,
Norfolk, NE68701
(402) 379-0040
www.4bhs.org

Services Offered: Substance abuse treatment, Detoxification, Buprenorphine Services

Residency: Residential short-term treatment (30 days or less)

Payment Accepted: Self payment, Medicaid, State financed insurance (other than Medicaid), Private health insurance, Military insurance (e.g., VA,TRICARE)

Payment Assistance: Sliding fee scale (fee is based on income and other factors)

Languages: ASL or other assistance for hearing impaired

Specializing in Persons with co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders, Persons with HIV/AIDS, Gays and Lesbians, Seniors/older adults, Pregnant/postpartum women, Women, Men, Criminal justice clients

Behavioral Health Specialists, Inc., (BHS) has been providing quality professional care for over 20 years. Formerly Monroe Mental Health Center, the agency began operating as a private, non-profit organization in November of 1992. Prior to this, it had been owned by Region 4 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Service District, which developed as a result of the Nebraska Community Mental Health Center Act of 1974.

BHS currently provides an array of services throughout the Region 4 Behavioral Health Service area and in 65% of the Health & Human Services Northern Service Area. Our agency’s main office is centrally located in Norfolk. We operate two short-term residential treatment programs: Seekers of Serenity in Columbus, Nebraska and Sunrise Place in Norfolk, Nebraska. We have foster homes, respite care homes, family support services and community support services that extend throughout northeast Nebraska.

Road to Recovery: The Elderly and Alcoholism

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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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