Although the majority of seniors who gamble do so for fun and entertainment, a small percentage develop gambling problems. More and more seniors are gambling these days…from 1975 to 1998 the proportion of seniors gambling increased from 35% to 80%, with the most dramatic increase occurring among adults 65 years of age and older. On average, seniors reported spending a higher proportion of their income on gambling in comparison to younger adults.
Seniors may be vulnerable to gambling problems for a variety of reasons such as boredom or loneliness, depression or grief, or even health problems or chronic pain. It can be particularly difficult for seniors to recover money lost to gambling because their income may be fixed. Issues of shame and embarrassment resulting from gambling problems may also play a part in their hesitation to seek help or confide in others.
Counselling with Gambling Support Services can assist the senior to:
- Overcome the shame and stigma of the problem
- Understand the problem and its effects
- Make positive changes to their gambling
- Correct and/or cope with some of the other issues that contribute to the problem
- Help manage stress, depression and anxiety
- Heal family relationships