Alcoholism In Later Life - Is It Ever Too Late To Get Help?

It's important to make this perfectly clear - it really is never too late to seek help. There may be many hurdles in your way, and you might feel that the longer you leave it the tougher it will be. But anyone can break down the walls and recover from alcoholism, there’s just one question you need to answer to embark on your journey: Do you want to get help?

The only way you can fully get help and recover from alcohol addiction is if you truly want it. Recovery isn’t a part-time thing, it’s a lifelong commitment and here’s why it’s never too late to seek help.

If you are suffering from addiction...

Increase your quality of life

Whether you have 50 years left on this earth or five, you'll want to live them to the fullest. Do you want to experience everything the world has to offer, in the best possible way? Without alcohol consumption, your body and mind will be fully capable of experiencing everything the world has to offer and you'll create amazing memories with a loved one along the way.

Increase your family’s quality of life

It’s highly likely that your family worries about you. For example, if you are out until the early hours of the morning they may worry something bad has happened to you. The knock-on effects of this can cause them stress and anxiety and they may even feel depressed.

Your loved ones could feel so helpless that they need to seek their own help for their worries. So the sooner you seek help for yourself, the sooner you can also help your family.

You can heal

Let’s talk about the liver. While alcohol can affect all areas of your body, the liver is probably most impacted. But the liver is a powerful organ - so powerful in fact that it can heal itself. It can regenerate itself after alcohol has damaged it.

This can vary depending on how long you’ve been misusing alcohol for; it loses its ability to make new cells after years of alcohol abuse. But there is a chance it could heal, so why not give it a go? There’s no real medical treatment for Alcohol-Related Liver Disease, the most effective way to heal your body is to stop drinking (more on how to stop drinking below).

Rehab has no age limit

As we’ve said before, recovery is a lifelong process. If you have been excessively drinking alcohol over the years, you will not be able to give up by yourself; you will need to do it in a controlled, safe zone - such as a rehab centre such as Delamere.

But it’s not just alcohol which is a problem. The older you get, the more chance you have of being put on prescribed medication. Having a cocktail of substances - and mixing them with alcohol - is highly dangerous and could cause life-changing and life-threatening effects to your health.

If you are ready to seek help, speak to a medical professional. Some symptoms you could experience if you go cold turkey include cold sweats, increased pulse, nausea, vomiting, shaky hands, and intense anxiety.

If you know someone who is suffering from alcoholism...

If you have stumbled on this article looking at ways to help someone older who is battling with addiction and thinks it’s too late for them to get help, explain to them the reasons we’ve discussed above. However, it's important to remember that while you can give them all of the information they need, the only way they can fully recover is if they want to.

Support is important

Try not to get frustrated with them. It is easier said than done, we understand that. But if you show them that you are there to support them and not judge, they may feel more comfortable to open up about getting help.

Talk to them

Don’t suffer in silence. If you are feeling stressed, have developed anxiety and worry about their alcohol usage, discuss it with them. This doesn’t mean you should make them feel guilty, as that could make them disconnect from you further. But instead, explain how you’re feeling without placing blame. Be as tactful as you can and try to avoid phrases such as: “You make me feel worried”.

Show them it’s not too late

If talking to them doesn’t work, you may need to show them. Can they go on holiday and see some amazing sights, are they going to become a grandparent, when was the last time they went to the beach and felt the sand between their toes?

They can’t drive when they drink, so show them some of the wonderful things they’re missing. It could make them realise that they still have so much to see and do and that alcohol is hindering their quality of life.

As we said earlier, it’s never too late to stop. There’s so much out there to enjoy. Make new friends, rekindle old friendships and be happy; happiness and sobriety go hand-in-hand and you can experience them both.

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