Due to personal reasons, I just dread hearing that a doctor has prescribed anyone with an opiate, but for so many reasons, they do. The fact is, they not only prescribe AN opiate, but sometimes increase the dosages for whatever reason so that the levels become really dangerous.
When these dangerous levels of drugs are given to an elderly person, it helps to mask their pain – for a short time anyway. But, just like all others prescribed these drugs, the more the body gets used to the drugs, the more drugs they need.
You see, opiates, like I mentioned a couple sentences ago, do mask the pain, but the worse thing is that they take over where our brains ordinarily are the boss. Instead of allowing our bodies to produce the pain fighters, these ‘drugs’, if you will, do the job for our brain and our brains shut down and let the drugs take over. It is an endless cycle!
To make matters worse, elders are ordinarily prescribed other medications as well – which just add to the issue. Finally, if they drink alcohol at all, well, let’s just say that a dangerous situation becomes volatile!
All you can do as a caregiver is to be there to show your clients that With Age Comes Respect because it is highly unlikely that you will be able to do anything to get your clients off the drugs and hooch. Let me just suggest that this will be no easy task, so if you do not have a hard exterior, you better develop one – or get out of the business!