Alcohol Abuse Among Older Adults

news-freedom-elder-care-new-jersey-alcohol-abuse-older-adultsOnce in awhile, it’s nice to sit back, relax and enjoy a cocktail. But how much is too much?

According to the Department of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at New York University School of Medicine, “adults 65 years of age are becoming the fastest growing segment of the population in the US; and treatment for their health-related issues, including problems related to [alcohol abuse], poses a great challenge .”

Alcohol abuse often remains unidentified, undiagnosed and untreated,

Why?

Well, many of the signs and symptoms of alcoholism are similar to those of aging. Plus, the individual’s family and friends may be in denial of the situation.

Also, alcoholism among older Americans usually occurs due to social isolation, loneliness and depression.

If you notice any of the following symptoms in your loved one, the Royal College of Psychiatrists recommend seeking help.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Incontinence
  • Memory Loss
  • Insomnia
  • Blackouts
  • Disorientation
  • Excessive falls/bruises
  • Difficulties in decision making
  • Poor hygiene
  • Poor nutrition
  • Idiopathic seizures
  • Unusual responses to medication
  • Slurred Speech
  • Ulcers, inflammation, liver disease,
    sudden high blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Desires to be alone

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time to increase public knowledge and education about this treatable disease. Recovery is possible, and by taking the proper course of treatment, your loved one can be helped.

If you are not sure where to start and wish to learn more about treatment options, visit the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.