Seniors and Alcohol

Elderly man using wall to hold himself steady Senior Health site offers information about older adults and alcohol use

Having a drink now and then as you get older is not usually thought to be harmful, but alcohol can be a problem for older adults, especially if they take certain medications, have health problems or don’t control their drinking. Alcohol Use and Older Adults, http://NIH Senior Health.gov/alcoholuse/toc.html, the newest topic on NIH Senior Health, provides helpful information about the effect alcohol may have on our bodies, health and lifestyles as we age.

  • Aging lowers the body’s tolerance for alcohol, and older adults can develop problems with alcohol even though their drinking habits haven’t changed.
  • Older adults can experience the effects of alcohol, such as slurred speech and lack of coordination, more quickly than when they were younger.
  • If you’re older and you drink, it is important to understand the implications this may have for your health, safety, relationships and lifestyle.

The newest topic on NIH Senior Health provides an excellent overview of these issues in a format that is tailored for older adults.

Besides information on alcohol and aging, NIH Senior Health also discusses how much is safe to drink for most older men and women, what precautions to take if they’re on medication and how to get help if drinking is a problem.

Older people are increasingly turning to the Internet for health information. In fact, more than 70 percent of online seniors look for health and medical information when they go on the Web.

NIH Senior Health (http://NIH Senior Health.gov/alcoholuse/toc.html), which is based on the latest research on thinking and aging, features short, easy-to-read segments of information that can be accessed in a number of formats, including various

  • large-print type sizes,
  • open-captioned videos and an
  • audio version.

Additional topics coming soon to the site include long-term care, anxiety disorders and peripheral arterial disease.

Related Reading:

Nursing for Wellness in Older Adults (Miller, Nursing for Wellness in Older Adults)
Controlling Your Drinking, Second Edition: Tools to Make Moderation Work for You
Alcohol lied to me (the intelligent escape from alcohol addiction)
Alcohol: How to Give It Up and Be Glad You Did

One thought on “Seniors and Alcohol

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