Studies have shown that seniors develop gambling addictions faster than any other age group. What may start out as a harmless little fun at bingo, the casino, or the racetrack may turn into a costly affair, especially for seniors who are isolated, lonely, depressed, or have cognitive impairment. If you fear your senior loved one may have a gambling addiction, here are five signs to be on the lookout for.
1. Sudden Decrease in Wealth
One of the most common signs your loved one may have a gambling addiction is if he or she suddenly doesn’t have enough money to address normal needs like utility payments, groceries, and medical bills. If your loved one admits he or she is borrowing the money to gamble, it is a sign of addiction.
By making healthy lifestyle choices, older adults can prevent or overcome destructive habits. Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help maintaining a healthy life. Edmonton home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
2. Visible Obsession with Gambling
Another sign of addiction is a new obsession with gambling that seems to have taken over your loved one’s life. Some older adults who are addicted to gambling often talk about it nonstop, while others stay up late to gamble online. Gambling addiction may affect your loved one’s health or relationships with others. If your loved one has a job, it may even impact the ability to work efficiently or show up on time. Your loved one may also brag loudly about any gambling successes, but make light of major losses.
Seniors who are addicted to gambling often lie to their loved ones to hide their addiction. Perhaps you discover a large credit card bill or cash missing from your loved one’s bank account. Your loved one may pretend he or she doesn’t know where the money went or tell you the money has been donated to a church or charity or loaned to a friend. When your loved one does go to the casino or another place to gamble, he or she may also lie about his or her whereabouts.
4. Irritable Personality
If you’ve noticed your loved one is suddenly more irritable than normal, it could be a sign of a gambling addiction. You may find your loved one is angry when he or she can’t access the source of gambling or when forced to participate in other activities that cut into the gambling time. You loved one may also snap at you if you confront him or her about the habit, claiming it’s not an addiction and that he or she can quit at any time.
Caring for a senior with a difficult personality can be a challenging task. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior care, Edmonton Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
5. Frequent Engagement in Illegal Activities
Rather than asking family members to borrow money, your loved one may resort to illegal activities to come up with the cash to feed the gambling addiction. If not engaging in unlawful acts, your loved one may do something unsavory, ranging from pawning his or her wedding ring to stealing money from a friend or relative.
Loneliness and social isolation are among the leading causes of compulsive gambling in older adults. By opting for in-home care, your loved one can receive the mental and social stimulation needed to avoid gambling and other unhealthy addictions. For families living in Edmonton, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. To hire a professional caregiver for your senior loved one, give us a call at (780) 977-7379 today.