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Residential Assisted Living and Rehab for Drug and Alcohol Addiction Near Me

If you or a loved one are an older adult living with addiction, choosing the right long-term care is important, especially when it comes to treating substance use disorder (SUD). For elderly adults, long-term care options may feel limited, particularly if you or your loved one has other healthcare needs or needs support for daily living.

While assisted living residences are popular for seniors, they often do not include treatment for an SUD. Fortunately, there are other options beyond assisted living residences, including rehab. Rehab facilities provide customized care and may be a good long-term care option for elderly individuals living with an SUD.

Deciding between residential assisted living and long-term rehab for the elderly can be a difficult decision. Take a closer look at the differences between these options below.

Does My Insurance Cover Long-Term Rehab Treatment?

Most insurance companies cover at least part of, if not all, long-term rehab treatment. However, the amount covered varies depending on your insurance company and specific policy. Knowing ahead of time what is covered by insurance and what you will be responsible for paying out-of-pocket can make the process easier.

Before you commit to a specific rehab, you can call the number on the back of your insurance card, check your insurance online, or fill out the form below.

Alcoholism and Substance Use in the Elderly

Nearly 1 million adults in the United States ages 65 or older live with an SUD.1 Aging causes physical and social changes in everyone and these changes may increase a person’s vulnerability to substance use. Older adults metabolize substances (e.g.,  alcohol, drugs, medication) slower, and can be more sensitive to the effects of drugs.1

Nearly 65% of people ages 65 and older report high-risk drinking behaviors, and more than 10% of this population report that they currently binge drink.1 Alcoholism is so prevalent in this population that there was a 107% increase in alcohol use disorder (AUD) diagnoses in older adults from 2001 to 2013.1

AUD can lead to various health problems, including: 1

  • Bone problems.
  • Diabetes
  • Heart failure.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Liver problems.
  • Memory problems.
  • Mood disorders.

SUD is equally of concern in the elderly population. Many elderly individuals live with chronic health conditions, which means they may be prescribed various medications to manage them. This may lead to addiction, even when the medications are used as prescribed. This is due in part because older adults metabolize drugs like benzodiazepines and opioids differently than younger adults.2

SUD can affect the body over a long period of time and may cause various health problems, including:3

  • Cancer.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Hepatitis B and C.
  • Liver problems.
  • Lung disease.
  • Memory problems.
  • Mood disorders.
  • Sleep issues.

Given that seniors may already be at a higher risk of developing age-related health problems, it is important for those living with AUD or SUD to seek treatment.

Residential Assisted Living vs. Rehab: What’s the Difference?

Residential assisted living (e.g., nursing homes) are facilities that provide long-term care to individuals who need assistance caring for themselves. There are both public and private assisted living facilities throughout the United States. In most cases, individuals who enter residential assisted living facilities do not return to their homes but continue to live in the facility full-time.

Rehab facilities offer specialized rehabilitation treatment plans to fit each person’s unique needs. There are both public and private rehab centers, the latter of which are privately funded.

Rehab facilities may provide the following therapies:

Elderly individuals who need assistance caring for themselves and treatment for an SUD will receive the care they need from medical professionals who are well-versed in working with this population.

Assisted living facilities do not typically employ individuals who specialize in addiction treatment, but rehab centers do. At a rehab center, you or your loved one will receive customized care for alcohol or drug use. A rehab center may help elderly individuals begin their recovery so they can easily transition into an assisted living facility.

There are several different types of rehab treatment programs to choose from, including inpatient, outpatient, dual-diagnosis, and long-term rehab. The right treatment program for you or your loved one will depend on the individual’s unique needs.

Inpatient Rehab Centers for the Elderly

Inpatient rehab facilities provide 24-hour supervised care for elderly individuals in a home-like setting. Inpatient rehab provides intensive, structured care and therapy for SUDs, equipping patients with the resources they need to manage their addiction.4 Inpatient rehab can take place after detox if you or your loved one requires it. This type of rehab can be a good option for elderly individuals living with an SUD who may also need age-related care.

Inpatient rehab facilities for the elderly may offer several benefits, including:

    • Exercise and wellness programs.
    • Medical care around the clock.
    • No alcohol or drug access (apart from supervised medications).
    • Supervised medications.
    • Supportive environment.
    • Therapy (both individual and groups).
  • Trained staff familiar working with this population.
  • Transportation.

Outpatient Rehab Centers for the Elderly

Outpatient rehab centers allow the individual to live at home and attend treatment at the facility during the day. This type of rehab uses several therapies, including individual and group counseling. In some cases, an elderly individual may live full-time at an assisted living facility and go to outpatient rehab during the day.

Outpatient treatment programs can range in intensity. Common levels of outpatient rehab include: 4

  • Standard outpatient: This type of program typically involves attending 1-2 treatment sessions per week for 1-2 hours.
  • Intensive outpatient (IOP): These programs typically involve attending treatment around 3 times per week. Most IOP programs allow patients to live at an assisted living facility and attend treatment sessions in the evenings.
  • Partial hospitalization (PHP): Partial hospitalization programs are intensive and involve attending treatment 5-7 days a week for several hours at a time. This option may be good for an individual who does not need medical intervention but would benefit from a stronger level of support. 4

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment for the Elderly

Many individuals with an SUD also have one or more mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression. This is known as a co-occurring disorder or comorbidity.5 One study found that nearly 38% of elderly individuals with a mental health disorder also had an SUD.6

Dual diagnosis treatment means treating both conditions at the same time. This type of treatment may help individuals by treating both the SUD and mental health condition(s). Because SUD and mental health conditions are complex and differ in severity, individuals’ continuums of care may vary. 7

Long-Term Rehab Treatment for the Elderly

Long-term rehab treatment for the elderly is an optimal way for you or your loved one to receive the care and ongoing support needed to achieve and maintain sobriety. Long-term treatment facilities understand the unique needs of aging individuals and provide tailored treatments based on those needs.

While no two long-term rehab facilities are exactly alike, the goals of this type of treatment center generally include: 8

  • Cultivating techniques for managing stress.
  • Establishing and connecting with sources of support.
  • Making healthy and safe choices.
  • Reducing or eliminating substance use.
  • Regaining confidence.
  • Reintegrating into society.
  • Removing access to illicit substances.
  • Understanding co-occurring mental health conditions.

Because individuals require different continuums of care, the right length of treatment for you will depend on your unique situation. However, longer stays in treatment are associated with better outcomes and long-term sobriety.8

Your admissions navigator and therapists will help determine which treatment length is right for you.

How to Find Assisted Living Rehab Facilities for Substance Abuse Near Me

Searching for an assisted living rehab facility for yourself or an elderly loved one can be an overwhelming experience, but you do not have to go it alone. Before you make a decision, it’s important to carefully consider the treatment programs available. The best program will be tailored to your unique needs, whether that is inpatient, outpatient, or dual-diagnosis.

If you are looking for a rehab center near you, American Addiction Centers (AAC) has locations throughout the United States. You can call us to discuss your needs, or use our directory to search by location. If you find there is not an appropriate treatment program near you, you may consider traveling out of state. Some popular states include California, Florida, New Jersey, and Texas.

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  1. NIDA. (2020, July 9). Substance Abuse in Older Adults DrugFacts.
  2. Kuerbis, A., Sacco, P., Blazer, D. G., & Moore A.A. (2014). Substance abuse among older adults. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, 30(3), 629-654.
  3. NIDA (n.d.). Addiction & Health.
  4. NIDA. (2019). Treatment approaches for drug addiction drugFacts.
  5. NIDA. (2021). ​​Comorbidity: substance use disorders and other mental illnesses.
  6. Blixen, C. E., McDougall, G. J., & Suen, L. J. (1997). Dual diagnosis in elders discharged from a psychiatric hospital. International journal of geriatric psychiatry, 12(3), 307–313.
  7. SAMHSA. (2020). Substance use disorder treatment for people with co-occurring disorders.
  8. NIDA. (2020, September 18). Principles of Effective Treatment.



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