Drinking and the elderly population

The Chicagotribune.com posted an article regarding elderly drinkers putting their lives at risk by consuming more than the recommend amount of alcohol for their age (click here for article). The elderly group has been defined as those over the age of 65. The concern is that alcohol can cause greater problems for those suffering from dementia, depression, balance issues, and mixing it with prescription drugs.

When it comes to alcohol consumption, what is the best way to determine if an elderly person has a drinking problem? Is alcohol use harder to detect in the elderly population than the younger population? Do people understand the risks involved when they mix medications with alcohol? Are they provided with the support and resources needed to seek help if a problem is suspected? The author of the article pointed out that health-care professionals should be aware of the symptoms so that they can screen for heavy drinkers in the elderly population. Health-care providers can provide resources for those who may have a tendency to over indulge on alcohol in a manor that can be detrimental to their life.

Also, those who care for older adults need to be provided with educational resources on how they can help reduce the risk of over consumption of alcohol in older adults. It was also mentioned in the article that there are a limited number of outpatient programs that target older adults who are seeking treatment. This is an issue that is going to grow as the population ages. Preventative education now can help reduce this problem and help keep it under control.

Scroll to top