In the past month, I have talked with two women in their 70s and 80s who have actually moved out of their homes and left the addicts to live there. In both cases, the elderly women paid the rent and all the bills. My advice to each of them was to at least charge the addicts partial rent, or have them pay the utilities. While this seemed like an obvious first step to making the addicts responsible for their lives, both women didn't believe they could ask for money from the addict, and neither had the courage to remove them from their homes. In the end, all that I could do was pray for them and offer my support with an invitation to stay in touch.
I have often said that Christians in addiction work on the fear and guilt of their loved ones.When it comes to the elderly, the addicts also work on their vulnerability. They become predators, feeding on the weaknesses of the elderly. As a result, I have come to see this behavior of addicts as a form of elder abuse.
If you are a senior citizen and find yourself in this situation, I highly recommend you get the support of other family members and that you trust the wisdom of recovery counselors. If you are a family member and your parents or grandparents have fallen victim to the addict's manipulations, please intervene and get the help that's necessary to force change.
You can learn more about The Solid Rock Road at www.thesolidrockroad.com. You can also find this Christian recovery resource on Facebook. 541-301-3717.