Alcohol & Aging
April is National Alcohol Awareness Month
When you think of alcoholism and alcoholics, many of us probably contrive a mental image of young college aged kids binge drinking at frat parties on weekends. Or maybe you picture a 40-something disheveled, man barely holding down his 9-5 and drinking habit. Sadly, alcoholism is no respecter of person, status, or age. Many elderly adults struggle with addiction to alcohol as well as younger generations.
The natural aging process can lower an individuals tolerance of alcohol. In a population that may already face balance and cognitive issues naturally, the combination of alcohols influence on the body can be quite alarm and potentially disastrous. Many poor health conditions faced by seniors can be made worse by drinking. Diabetes, liver problems, high blood pressure and osteopetrosis are affected negatively by increased drinking, just to name a few.
Many aging individuals are also on prescription medications. When combined with alcohol many of these medications can potentially have negative interactions. This can be very dangerous to the consumer.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Adults over age 65 who are healthy and do not take medications should not have more than:
- 3 drinks on a given day
- 7 drinks in a week
Often times, family members, loved ones and home health caregivers may not notice when an elderly individual displays signs of alcohol dependence. A glass of wine every night to soothe nerves, may silently turn into several glasses to get through the day.
It is important that as caregivers we remain vigilant to the habits and routines of our loved ones. Warning signs such as significant change in moods and attitudes, sleep habits, balance issues, poor hygiene, loss of appetite and slurred speech may be indicators there is a problem.
Alcoholism faces many individuals in our communities here in South Florida. If your loved one is experiencing decreased independence due to the effects of alcohol related disease or complications from a history of abuse, they may benefit from receiving additional care in their own homes. VIP America, refers caregivers to provide home health care in Stuart, Florida and the surrounding areas. Consider allowing us to coordinate with other professionals in your loved ones road to recovery.
For More Information About Alcohol Use and Safety:
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Institutes of Health