Gambling addiction affects all groups of people, including seniors. According to Psychology Today, as many as 4 million elderly people have a serious gambling problem. The reasons for this can vary but frequently result from trying to fill an emotional gap in their lives. If your senior loved one has become addicted to gambling, here are a few of the possible causes.
Gambling trips can be fun for seniors, especially when they want to be around other people. The fear of being alone and isolated can lead seniors to go to bingo events or casinos. To help your loved one avoid this fear, make sure he or she remains social. Take him or her to the park, community events, concerts, family gatherings, and other events that help him or her maintain an active social life. Also, consider hiring a Westfield caregiver to provide regular companionship.
Many gambling venues offer senior discounts on meals, transportation, and other amenities to lure them into the casinos and gambling facilities. Help your loved one find other fun things to do within his or her community that are not expensive and also offer discounts.
Seniors often turn to gambling to fill their free time. To help keep your loved one engaged, create a schedule of regular activities he or she can complete, including running errands, helping out around the house, and other tasks that can fill up the free time devoted to gambling. Make sure some of the activities are exciting and not just work or chores. You might also consider home care in Westfield to help keep your loved one mentally and emotionally stimulated with daily activities.
Gambling attracts seniors due to the decrease in their income or the extra funds needed to cover medical expenses. Some seniors will gamble more than half of their monthly earnings to try to win more money. However, they generally find themselves in more debt. Watch for the signs of gambling early on, such as unexplained money problems, failure to be honest about expenses, or the sudden disappearance or sale of valuables. Talk with other family members to determine what financial options are available for your loved one so he or she does not need to stress about finances.
Loss of a Spouse
The fastest growing group of people with a serious gambling addiction is female seniors. Because women tend to have a longer lifespan than men, they may lose their spouses and become lonely, and many turn to gambling to avoid alleviate the emotional pain. One way to help your loved one with this difficult transition is by signing her up for a support group that helps her work through the emotional loss and pain. Failing to get your loved one the help she needs could lead her to seek relief through gambling.
There are a variety of healthy activities that can take the place of a senior’s gambling. If your loved one could benefit from regular social and mental stimulation, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our part-time and live-in caregivers are available 24/7 to provide companionship and help with a variety of daily tasks. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care in Westfield. For more information on our senior care services and to schedule a free consultation with a Care Manager, call 908.450.9400 today.