Website for Seniors Highlights Changes, Risks of Alcohol Use
Health and addictions professionals are well aware that adults over the age of 65 should drink less than younger people and know about important new risks of consuming alcohol. Now, a federal health website for older adults has published that information in a consumer-friendly format.
As people get older, they become more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, in part because their bodies break down alcohol more slowly than before. Drinking the same amount of alcohol produces a higher blood alcohol concentration in older adults than in younger people. Tolerance for alcohol also decreases with age, and excessive drinking can worsen health conditions common in aging, such as high blood pressure, memory problems, or congestive heart failure.
Older people may also be a higher risk for alcohol interactions with prescription medication and even over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin.
The website lays out this information in large print with a minimum of medical jargon — a useful resource for older adults, or practitioners and family members who interact with them.
(Thanks to Meg Brunner, chair of the terrific organization SALIS, for passing along this information.)