A gambling addiction extends beyond the gambler. Family members and friends are often severely impacted by the gambler's behaviors and activities.
Gambling among older adults is on the rise, largely due to the availability and accessibility of options in the state. When gambling becomes a problem among seniors, it can be particularly challenging since it occurs at a time in a person’s life when recouping financial losses can be very difficult, if not impossible.
" Gambling among older adults is on the rise, largely due to the availability and accessibility of options in the state."
For many seniors, gambling is an escape from boredom brought about by an increase of unstructured time after retirement, or following the death of a spouse or other loved one. For many, their social network may not be large enough to draw the necessary support. By 2020, there will be approximately 15 million Americans ages 65 and older living alone. As a result, many elders may turn to gambling, not only as a social and entertainment activity, but also as a means of trying to deal with the loss, the grief, and the time. However, gambling is not a risk-free activity, particularly among this population.
" For many years, the FCCG has played an instrumental role in convening experts within the elder service community to address issues related to senior gambling."
What makes seniors particularly vulnerable?
There are several factors that contribute to why seniors are particularly vulnerable when confronting gambling related difficulties. The ones most often identified include the following:
What Information is available to seniors and others?
For many years, the FCCG has played an instrumental role in convening experts within the elder service community to address issues related to senior gambling. In addition to a national think tank, prevalence study, and other research initiatives undertaken by the FCCG, in cooperation with others, the Agency developed its Playing It Safe toolkit , which is a free educational and instructional packet that enables senior service providers to present the topic of gambling and older adults effectively and creatively. To review and obtain copies of studies or to learn more about the toolkit’s contents, as well as other materials geared toward seniors, view our Resources section.
To see if you would benefit from our resources, please take our Self Assessment Quiz
Thankfully, help is available and gambling addiction can be treated if recognized. If you need assistance, contact our 24 hour, confidential Helpline 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848) for resources and support.