An addiction to gambling can affect people of all ages, but older individuals may be more susceptible and it can cause greater harm.
One report suggests that if a person’s addiction comes later in life, it may be more difficult for them to acknowledge that they have a problem and seek help.
A gambling addiction is something that is treatable and people can resume a normal life after seeking help. When a person does not acknowledge that they have a problem, nor care if they do, then treatment is unrealistic.
When a senior citizen develops an addiction, it usually results from a life change or transition of some sort. Whether it is the death of a loved one or an illness that has developed, the difficulty with adjusting to retirement or simply the aging process, gambling can often become a social activity or a means to fill the time. When it crosses the line of simply something to do, to impacting your life in a negative way, it can be hard to recognize.
As time goes by, gamblers may have found that their retirement is depleted due to excessive gaming with no way to replenish it. When that happens that can cause a downward spiral and only feed the addiction, rather than be a reason to stop.
Family members may also have a difficult time trying to convince their loved one that they have a problem and it can lead to strained family ties, which again could help feed the addiction in other ways.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, you can contact the National Council on Problem Gambling hotline for help. Moderation is the key, but when anything becomes excessive and starts causing reason for concern, then knowing when to admit there is a problem can be an even bigger step.