Seniors and Alcohol

Senior drinking alcohol in his retirement living community for assisted living and memory care

A lot of people have a drink alcohol every now and then. It’s a social thing. There’s a party, someone’s passing out glasses of wine, or cocktails, why not have one, or two, or three? As we age, alcohol can affect us in more ways than we think. Not only are its effects stronger, but its lasting consequences linger on for much longer than our younger counterparts. In some cases, seniors that drinks frequently can even develop serious medical issues.

The Confusion

There have been many cases of seniors being diagnosed with a problem, like balance, prescribed medication, and only later to learn that it was an alcohol-related issue. As one can imagine, taking unnecessary medication, along with alcohol, can be seriously harmful to the body.

Alcohol can also have a completely different effect on seniors. Some seniors report also feeling “high” after consuming alcohol, as well as feeling drunk. This is because the internal organs, including the brain, are weaker from age, so alcohol affects the body differently. As one can imagine, not only is a intoxicated senior a harm to themselves, but one that is also high can be a serious danger to themselves, or others. Seniors are already typically at risk for falls, but when you add in the dangerous concoction of drunk and high, the increase in falls triples.

The Effects of Drinking

Drinking can be a fun social accompaniment. Having a glass of wine with a nice dinner is okay. However, it’s when a glass of wine turns to a bottle, then that turns into a daily thing. This is when alcohol can become a problem. Alcohol can cause lots of problems with young, healthy people. But in seniors, things can take a turn for the worst very quickly.

Drinking alcohol in excess can:

  • Make existing conditions worse, like: diabetes, stroke, ulcers, mood disorders, memory loss, and more.
  • Cause severe liver damage, certain types of cancer, and even brain damage.
  • In some cases, with some seniors, cause such confusion and memory loss that doctors could misdiagnose a senior with signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Lead to alcoholism.

Benefits

Despite all the possible negative effects of alcohol, there are some positive ones. The positive effects are only prevalent when in small, controlled quantities. It’s also key to note that it’s not just any alcohol that can benefit seniors, but rather a specific type: Red wine.

Red wine, like a small glass with dinner, once a week, has been shown in studies to have health benefits for the heart. The reason it’s so specific to red wine is because of a healthy antioxidant called resveratrol. This healthy component of red wine protects the lining of the blood vessels in your heart. It’s also known to reduce the amount of “bad” cholesterol, preventing blood clots. However, some other studies have shown there are no benefits. This is why it is recommended to just have a small glass, once a week or so. Doctors agree to one thing: drink in moderation, or not at all.

Conclusion

Drinking has become a part of the American culture. It can be a fun way to relax, and possibly has health benefits. However, drinking sparingly and in moderation is the key to making sure that you don’t get any of alcohol’s harmful side effects. Please make sure to speak with your doctor to see if it’s wise to drink alcohol.

Bonaventure Senior Living

At Bonaventure Senior Living, we have Retirement Perfected, Living Perfected, Dining Perfected, and Fitness Perfected.  The best way to see for yourself is to Book-A-Tour today and discover how you can live life on your own terms. We specialize in Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care, that way, no matter what your current situation is, we have all levels of care covered if your needs ever change.

Independent Living

With Independent Living, we want you to enjoy Simplified Living, allowing you to have the freedom to do what makes you happy. Our Independent Living is designed to accommodate the exceptional senior lifestyle that you’ve earned. What’s even better, is that with Independent Living we offer whatever supportive services that you may need at any time you may need them. Now that’s Retirement Perfected.

Assisted Living

Assisted Living at Bonaventure Senior Living is simple: all the lifestyle benefits of our Independent Living, but with any extra support that you may need. Our philosophy is based on three simple things: choice, independence, and dignity. Now that’s Assisted Living at its finest.

Memory Care

Every senior is a unique person, and our Memory Care approach is no different. We tailor our Memory Care by connecting with family members and taking time to understand each person’s specific circumstances. This includes mental, emotional, and physical health. Our Memory Care creates an honorable and professional plan to make sure that each person lives their life to the fullest. That’s the way Memory Care should be.

Filed in Health Services Senior Health