Signs of Gambling Addiction in Seniors
Many Seniors have money to spend, and some end up burning through their reserves. Seniors with impaired cognition may make poor decisions and have a reduced aversion to risk. Depression and loneliness are common among the elderly, and gambling is one way to cope. Gambling marketers gear their efforts toward the elderly, offering perks to meet their needs.
You may have heard about the organized bus tours for seniors to visit casinos in the area, with transportation and meals paid. An Ontario study estimates that 30 % of seniors who participate in these activities have moderate to severe gambling problems.
Seniors sometimes have a lot of time to fill and taking part in these organized trips is an attractive way out of their isolation. What remains a hobby for the majority can become a nightmare for some who are at risk of developing an addiction.
Personal factors such as low income without the possibility of future earnings, social isolation, addiction to drugs or alcohol, and physical or psychological health problems, make many seniors vulnerable. Anxiety, OCD, and having experienced stressful events increase the risk of problem gambling. Some studies indicate that single men under the age of 70 and socially isolated, as well as women over 70 are at greater risk especially if access to a Casino is easy and frequent.
Informing seniors about the risks of problem gambling is important, and promoting other types of recreational activities to nurture social interaction and reduce isolation.