|BACK TO ARCHIVE LIST||
A considerable percentage of older Americans may be in the “at-risk” category of gamblers who tend to bet large amounts of money or more than they can afford. This is according to a study published in the January edition of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. The publication also found gambling to be a common pursuit among senior citizens.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania surveyed 843 people 65 years and older. The researchers found that 70 percent had been involved in at least one gambling activity in the past year. 11 percent fit the criteria of at-risk gamblers in that they had recently laid down more than $100 on a single bet and/or they had bet more than they could afford to lose.
also found that women were just as likely as men to be gamblers and to
signs of having gambling problems. And
while those surveyed may have had easier access to gambling
In the United States, gambling is a $40 billion industry and some form of legal gambling is now available in 48 states. It is also a popular social pursuit for seniors who, in a 2001 survey, ranked a trip to a casino as their most-popular day-trip social outing. Not surprising, considering that the some casinos target seniors in their advertising.
tendency to wager high and bet more than one can
afford is particularly perilous for a senior
citizen who may be living on a fixed income. And
a person who spends a significant portion of their
money on gambling
may have no money left with which to buy medicine.
The researchers concluded that healthcare professionals need to increase the public’s awareness and level of education about the potentially harmful effects of gambling, especially among the rapidly-growing senior population. Screening to improve the early recognition of gambling problems, and counseling individuals with impaired cognitive function (as well as their families) about the disastrous results of gambling may help reduce the personal, family, and social cost of problem gambling among seniors.
|BACK TO ARCHIVE LIST|