Alcoholism in seniors can pose more dangers compared to those who are younger.
Aging changes your body in so many ways. So while drinking can be an acceptable part of social life, your senior parent may not be able to drink as much as when they were younger. This is because the aging process can make their body more prone to the debilitating effects of alcohol.
Dangers of Alcohol and Alcoholism in the Elderly
- When they drink alcohol, the substance is distributed throughout the whole body’s water content. As they age, the volume of total body water content decreases. This causes them to have a higher concentration of alcohol being processed throughout their body. This also causes them to be easily intoxicated with lower amounts of alcohol than when they were younger.
- As they age, the central nervous system finds it harder to tolerate alcohol. This causes them to be in all sorts of accidents and injuries when they drink. Most common of these are falls and slips.
- Driving when intoxicated can temporarily impair the brain’s functions, causing slower reflexes and slower reaction time. Therefore, those elderly who drink a few drinks and think they’re well enough to drive are also at higher risk for road accidents.
- Your elderly usually take medication for various illnesses and discomforts brought by old age. These drugs may negatively interact with alcohol, causing unpleasant–and even dangerous–side effects.
- Heavy and long-term alcohol consumption can also cause brittle bones, as alcohol slows down the body’s natural bone regeneration and regrowth after fracture.
- Those seniors who regularly drink are also at a higher risk for developing various heart diseases such as heart attack. Add these to the plethora of unhealthy food that they may also consume as they drink.
If you think your elderly parent has alcohol drinking problems or even alcohol dependence, you may seek the help of a rehabilitation facility such as Bridges of Hope. Then, you can also consider getting them into an assisted facility such as Big Hearts, to change their lifestyle and keep them monitored. For inquiries, contact 09565012540.