Seniors and Alcohol

MB900427846What do you think when you hear about seniors and hospital admissions?

I think about broken bones due to osteoporosis and falling, or I think about frail individuals with cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. I was a little surprised to see that the UK is seeing a dramatic increase in seniors admissions related to alcohol and mental health. In fact, there has been a 150% rise in hospital admissions for people over 60 with alcohol related mental health problems.

As people age their bodies metabolize alcohol differently which makes them more susceptible to the intoxicating effects. Not to mention the fact that older adults are often on multiple medications or have medical conditions that could interact poorly with alcohol.

The Canadian Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines do not specify a limit for older adults, but rather outline when zero is the limit.

In the above article there is a quote “Our relationship with alcohol is broken, we’re drinking too much, too often and we’re paying the price for this with our mental and physical wellbeing.”

Do you think Canadian’s have a broken relationship with alcohol? Do you see the same trend happening with Canadian seniors?

Author: Sarah R.N.

Registered Nurse working as a Public Health Nurse in the Injury and Substance Misuse Prevention Program at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

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