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Why Older Adults May Gamble Too Much

Published: August 19, 2019

It’s an issue that doesn’t discriminate. Problem gambling affects people from all walks of life – and of all different ages. While many tend to think of gambling as a vice of the young or middle aged, one of the fastest growing groups of problem gamblers are senior citizens. As the baby boomer generation begins to retire, those numbers are likely to rise.

There are multiple reasons why adults over the age of 65 are at risk for problem gambling. These include: 

  • Having an abundance of free time now that they’re no longer working.
  • Having excess funds saved up for retirement.
  • Experiencing boredom or loneliness due to friends and family members moving or passing away.
  • Feeling a loss of independence due to physical limitations.

It’s important to remember that problem gambling can occur in a senior with no prior history of gambling – and because many seniors tend to live away from younger family members, the problem can remain hidden for a long time. Some signs that a senior family member or friend may need help include:

  • Appearing withdrawn or being frequently unavailable.
  • Being vague when describing their days and activities.
  • Selling off their valuable belongings for unexplained reasons.
  • Speaking often of exciting wins – but never discussing their losses.

If you believe someone in your life has a problem, one of the most important things you can do is educate yourself about the issue. To find information, education and treatment resources, visit today.

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