Alcohol Abuse in the Elderly
Alcohol abuse among older people is common, especially at the age of 60 and above, and often occurs without a diagnosis. For example, if a relative is always known to have a few drinks at family events, he or she may not be checked if the person drinks more with age.
The loss of a husband or partner for life can change drinking patterns. It may start with a drink before bedtime, but it leads to relying on many drinks to get the day.
Metabolism and alcohol
According to reports from the Samha Foundation, of the total number of elderly people suffering from alcoholism, nearly one-third of them struggle with the effects of alcoholism at an early stage, while the remaining one is developed later in life. As the metabolic rate changes to a slower pace as the person ages, alcohol will remain in the older person who can not only result in falls and fractures but also increase the risk of organ damage, immune system disorders, certain types of cancers and brain damage.
Moreover, most older people take medications for chronic health conditions such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions and osteoporosis – conditions aggravated by alcohol abuse. It is difficult for doctors to treat many health concerns because they are disguised from alcoholism.
Alcohol abuse includes some side effects such as
• Lack of attention to family obligations
These signs may be wrong for other medical conditions including Alzheimer’s disease or a form of mental illness, making it difficult to diagnose and issue treatment.
Alcohol and medicines
Alcohol and medicine can be mixed whether prescription or prescription drugs are fatal. For example, alcohol consumption in addition to taking acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) can lead to liver damage, even liver failure. Older people in the aspirin system should discuss their alcohol abuse with their doctor because it can increase gastric bleeding and intestinal bleeding. Antidepressants and anti-sleep medications combined with alcohol can improve symptoms and overdose.
Ask for medical help.
It is not uncommon for older people to participate in alcohol abuse for more than thirty years, but it is not too late to quit smoking. Older patients who wish to stop alcohol are advised to seek medical assistance from their doctor or through a medical detoxification facility.
Before detoxification, it may be necessary to perform specific tests to check for damage to organs or other health problems. Medical detoxification helps keep the patient comfortable throughout the procedure, especially withdrawal symptoms.
Common withdrawal symptoms include:
After completing medical detoxification, most patients find that they benefit from attending a rehabilitation program or participating in a community recovery group such as 12 steps or other non-traditional programs.