Though most medical professionals would likely claim drinking alcohol in moderation is safe for people over 65, excessive drinking can lead to a host of hazards and serious health conditions. Here are five of the top reasons seniors should avoid drinking alcohol.
1. Alcohol Can Interfere with Certain Medications
The National Institute on Aging reports alcohol combined with aspirin can cause intestinal bleeding. Some medications, such as certain brands of cough syrup, already contain alcohol. When taken with sleep aids or pain pills, alcohol can depress the central nervous system and even cause death.
2. Drinking Can Lead to a Variety of Serious Health Conditions
The American Academy of Family Physicians reports alcohol use can increase the risk of many age-related health conditions. Drinking can cause high blood pressure, leading to a stroke or heart attack. It can also lead to dementia, depression, and cancer (especially liver cancer) as well as poor sleep quality, insomnia, and malnutrition.
Recent research suggests there may be a link between alcohol consumption and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Rhode Island Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives.
3. Seniors Are Sensitive to the Effects of Alcohol
Seniors can develop complications from alcohol use even without changing their drinking habits. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains seniors carry less water in their bodies than younger adults, which makes diluting the alcohol more difficult, causing seniors to become more intoxicated than they would have been when they were younger.
4. Drinking Increases the Risk of Falling
The NIH also says seniors often lose their balance and fall, and alcohol can increase this risk. In addition, older adults have thinning bones that can break easily. Studies have shown the rate of hip fractures in seniors increases with alcohol use.
Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional at-home care seniors can trust and rely on.
5. Alcohol Negatively Impacts the Immune System
As people age, their immune systems become weaker. Studies at the University of Colorado Denver have shown older adults are at higher risk for infections like pneumonia. Alcohol exacerbates this risk by damaging the immune system, and it also makes it more difficult to recover from infections.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service. Rhode Island Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (401) 284-0979 today.