Though most medical professionals would likely claim drinking alcohol in moderation is safe for people over 65, excessive drinking can lead to a host of hazards and serious health conditions. Prescott Home Care experts share 5 of the top reasons seniors should avoid drinking alcohol.
1. Alcohol Can Interfere with Certain Medications
The National Institute on Aging reports alcohol combined with aspirin can cause intestinal bleeding. Some medications, such as cough syrups, already contain alcohol. When taken with sleep aids or pain pills, alcohol can depress the central nervous system and even cause death.
2. Seniors Are Sensitive to the Effects of Alcohol
Seniors can develop complications with alcohol even without changing their drinking habits. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains seniors carry less water in their bodies than younger adults, which makes diluting the alcohol more difficult, causing seniors to become more intoxicated than they would have when they were younger.
3. Drinking Increases the Risk of Falling
The NIH also says seniors often lose their balance and fall, and alcohol can increase this risk. In addition, older adults have thinning bones, which can break easily. Studies have shown the rate of hip fractures in seniors increases with alcohol use.
4. Alcohol Negatively Impacts the Immune System
As people age, their immune system loses viability. Studies at the University of Colorado Denver have shown older adults are at higher risk for infections like pneumonia. Alcohol exacerbates this risk by damaging the immune system, and it also makes it more difficult to recover from infections.
5. Drinking Can Lead to a Variety of Serious Health Conditions
The American Academy of Family Physicians reports alcohol use can increase the risk of many age-related health conditions. Drinking can cause high blood pressure, leading to a stroke or heart attack, it can lead to dementia, depression, and cancer, especially liver cancer, and it can also cause poor sleep, insomnia, and malnutrition.
In addition to alcohol, there are many other things your senior loved one should consume in moderation or avoid entirely. To learn more about senior nutrition, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care Prescott seniors and their families can rely on. For more information on our in-home care services, please call one of our qualified Care Managers today at (928) 771-0105.