Gambling offers seniors a quick thrill, and many fall prey to the tactics used by casinos and other venues that cater to their age group. While your aging loved one may just think gambling is a chance to have a little fun, he or she may be at risk for developing an addiction. Watch out for the following signs to tell if your loved one may have a gambling addiction so you can step in and safeguard his or her financial security.
Exaggerating the Wins
The excitement of making a big win often overshadows all of the losses. Seniors with dementia are especially vulnerable to forgetting about how much money they lost before they made a big win. Help your loved one get some perspective by comparing how much money he or she has spent to the amount won. The findings may be enough to help your loved one see the true cost of the pastime.
Providing care for seniors can be difficult for family caregivers, especially if they are helping their loved one manage an addiction. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Sacramento home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
Spending Large Amounts of Time Gambling
At first, it may just seem as though your loved one has an active social life when you hear he or she is playing card games with friends, or you may love the idea of your aging parent getting out of the house for weekend trips. However, seniors who spend the majority of their time gambling may have an addiction. Suggest a few alternative activities to help your loved one find healthier ways to spend his or her time. For instance, going shopping with a caregiver could give your loved one a mental boost and some socialization that makes gambling less tempting.
Excessive gambling can affect your loved one’s finances as well as his or her health and wellbeing. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Sacramento home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Expressing Anger When Confronted
A senior who has developed a gambling addiction may not take too kindly to hearing your concerns. Gambling is an addiction just like substance abuse. If your loved one refuses to discuss the problem, ask other people he or she trusts to talk to him or her about the gambling habit.
Hiding Financial Matters
Once gambling becomes a major addiction, your loved one may begin to hide how much he or she spends at the casino. Watch for signs that your loved one may be spending more money than he or she can afford on gambling, such as having a bare cupboard or not being able to pay the bills. If you notice signs of financial distress, focus on those specific issues. For example, you can suggest having someone create a grocery budget or appoint someone to handle the finances until your loved one regains control.
Ignoring Health or Personal Hygiene
For some older adults, gambling becomes an obsession that eventually begins to chip away at their physical health. Your loved one may suddenly stop bathing when he or she prefers to spend time online playing poker. Alternatively, your loved one may skip meals or stop going to doctor appointments so he or she can spend more time gambling. Until your loved one ends the addiction, make arrangements for someone to provide transportation to appointments and assist with personal hygiene so you know his or her critical needs are taken care of each day.
Controlling unhealthy habits of older adults can be difficult, especially if managed alone. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Sacramento, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break. To hire a professional caregiver, call us at 916.706.0169 today.