Elderly Alcoholism Intervention Palmer AK

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.

Alaska Addiction Rehab Services
Nugens Ranch
26731 West Point MacKenzie Road,
Wasilla, AK99654
(907) 376-4534
www.nugensranchak.org

Services Offered: Substance abuse treatment

Residency: Residential long-term treatment (more than 30 days)

Payment Accepted: Self payment, Private health insurance, Military insurance (e.g., VA,TRICARE), Access to Recovery

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

Specializing in Women, Men

The founders of Nugen's Ranch had some unusual ideas, back in the early 1980's, when they were making plans to open the first long-term alcoholism treatment program in Alaska.
Leonard and Henrietta Nugen opened Nugen's Ranch in 1981, with the support of a visionary Board of Directors. Their views on the successfull treatment of long-term alcoholism, since then, have provided blueprints for sober living for people throughout Alaska.
Nugen's Ranch became the first long-term treatment program in Alaska to receive national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitaion Facilities (CARF) in 1993.
Karen Nugen-Logan, daughter of the founders, was named Executive Director in 1994. Her appointment created a second generation of Nugen-based philosophy - training and education balanced with the cold reality of experience with addiction behaviors. Employed by the Ranch since 1985, Karen Nugen-Logan has guided the Ranch's operations into a new century.
Today Nugen's Ranch serves adult men and women who have abused alcohol and drugs. The beautiful Matanuska-Susitna Valley setting, daily Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, NA meetings, farm activities, work therapy, individual and small group counseling combine to create a supportive low-key family atmosphere.

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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