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5 Reasons the Elderly Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol

Seniors should be cautioned against drinking excessive amounts of alcohol for a variety of reasons. Though drinking in moderation is unlikely to affect your elderly loved one’s health, Tucson, AZ, elder care professionals discuss 5 reasons why he or she may want to avoid it entirely.

1. Seniors Metabolize Alcohol Differently

As people grow older, their bodies tend to hold less water, which means seniors process alcohol at a slower rate and are more prone to higher blood alcohol levels after having only a few drinks. A high blood alcohol level can be fatal.

2. Medication Interactions Can Be Hazardous

Certain medications seniors are known to take regularly can be deadly if they are mixed with alcohol. Seniors who take aspirin, painkillers, and other types of medicine should speak with a doctor before drinking alcohol. Complications that can arise due to interactions with medications include intestinal bleeding and liver damage.

3. Excessive Drinking Can Cause Cardiovascular Problems

Changes to the heart and blood vessels caused by alcohol can dull the pain and other sensations that act as warning signs of a heart attack. Seniors who drink heavily have an even greater chance of developing blood clots, which increases the risk for heart attacks. Cardiomyopathy, a condition affecting the heart muscle, is also sometimes linked to alcohol consumption.

4. Alcohol Impairs Cognitive Functions and Motor Skills

Older adults are more likely to have impaired judgment and experience serious falls if they drink alcohol. The effects of alcohol may even resemble symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, which can lead to increased feelings of anxiety.

5. Too Much Drinking Can Lead to Additional Health Problems

Seniors who drink alcohol can also exacerbate certain age-related health conditions. The effects of diabetes and osteoporosis can be made worse by alcohol, and stomach ulcers can also form as a result of drinking.

Even if your loved one already doesn’t drink, there are many other habits he or she can adopt to remain healthy. At Home Care Assistance, our Balanced Care Method (BCM) was designed to encourage seniors to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of social and mental stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that can increase their longevity. In addition to BCM, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Tucson, AZ, families rely on. For more information on our in-home care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (520) 276-6555 to request a no-obligation consultation.