Drinking Among Older Adults is On the Rise

For the first time, experts believe that people aged 65 and above will be more than children in the U.S by 2034. Moreover, as this occurs, there could be a higher demand for medical care. The increased alcohol consumption in older adults could also burden health care.

Alcohol intake has increased among older adults

Recent studies have shown an increase in drinking among older adults, especially women. The University of Michigan conducted a National Poll on Healthy Aging in 2021. The researchers found that 20% of the older adults surveyed drank more than four times weekly. Another 27% said they had had more than six drinks at least once this year, while 7% had blacked out due to drinking.

Another survey showed that the cases of alcohol disorder had gone up by 107% from 2001 to 2013 for people aged 65 and older.

Excessive alcohol intact can negatively impact your mental and physical health. It could impact your immunity, raise your risk for cancer, and cause mood disorders, memory impairments, heart diseases, and liver problems.

Older adults are affected more by alcohol consumption

Older adults are more vulnerable to alcohol since they metabolize it slower. In addition, these people have less muscle mass to take up the alcohol. As a result, alcohol affects them faster. Older women are even more vulnerable. These adults are more likely to fall when drunk and fracture their fragile bones. Furthermore, many older adults are on prescription medications. Some of these medications can cause fatal consequences when they mix it with alcohol.

Since the pandemic began, people worldwide have been consuming more alcohol. While the increase in alcohol intake for older adults is minor, surveys have shown that those experiencing anxiety and depression are likely to drink more than those without these symptoms.

Older adults must follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans regarding their alcohol consumption. If there are no contraindications, women should not take more than one drink, and men should not take more than two each day.

People struggling with their mental health should avoid drinking as this could worsen their state. In addition, those who have trouble sleeping should also stop drinking as alcohol disrupts sleep.

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