Drinking Among Seniors Over 50 on the Rise

According to recent research, seniors over the age of 50 are increasing the amounts of alcohol they drink. Over the past 40 years, we have seen a significant increase among divorced and separated seniors as well and researchers wonder if there is a connection between these two trends.

As seniors now make up a large portion of the population where we see alcoholism increasing, research is highlighting how dangerous it can be to their health. As we grow older, our bodies don't work as quickly to metabolize alcohol and so it stays in the body longer. This slow metabolism of alcohol causes such medical problems as diabetes, hypertension, memory loss and neurological problems.

Nearly, all alcoholics fall somewhere into a sort of "gray zone" that separates them from normal social avenues of drinking to a qualification for alcohol abuse or a dependence on it like alcoholism. Most all alcoholic drinking, especially that among seniors, can be defined by the following set of circumstances and whether or not they engage in daily or near daily behaviors such as these:

  • Do they look forward to drinking?
  • Are they drinking alone?
  • Do they drink to relieve stress from a chronic illness, financial problem, etc….?
  • Are they drinking because they are bored or lonely?
  • Do they drink to relieve physical symptoms such as pain or insomnia?

Seniors should decide if they believe their drinking problem has moved into a near alcoholic zone and if so how far has it gone. With that mindset, they are in the position to make decisions and decide the best avenue to take in curbing their alcohol consumption.

Posted on April 20th, 2012
Posted in Alcoholism

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