Life can turn many things around as people grow older. The kids are grown up, your home is empty and the hustle and bustle of life has died. Saving for your pension has finally paid off and you have enough money to get you by and tons of free time on your hands.
Some people will naturally opt to lower their alcohol intake or drop it all together as they grow older. Unfortunately, many seniors fall into a vicious cycle of binge drinking at home or in social gatherings. Excessive drinking is harmful to people of all ages but most harmful to the older generation. Here are a few ways uncontrolled alcohol intake will wreak havoc into your life as a senior citizen.
The elderly face many challenges, including loss of dear ones, declining health, loneliness and uncertainty. Alcohol provides temporary relief for these feelings. However, chronic drinking lowers the body’s alcohol tolerance and may pave the way for full-blown alcoholism. Alcoholism worsens the symptoms of depression especially in older people, complicating the treatment process.
Threat to Personal Safety
Older people have a lower alcohol tolerance compared to youthful drinkers. Inebriation predisposes the elderly to falls, some of which can lead to fractures and more severe conditions like brain aneurisms. Driving while drunk increases the chance of injury to self and others through road carnage.
Worsens Present Health Conditions
Older people have to deal with age-related illnesses like heart disease and chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Alcohol slows down the heartbeat and prolonged overconsumption can lead to devastating heart attacks in heart disease patients. The doctors at a good family medicine practice in your area like the ones at Treasure Valley Family Medicine understand the need for holistic care for chronic patients, especially for the elderly and restoring their health.
Fatal Interaction with Medication
Many diseases faced by the elderly are managed by a daily cocktail of medicines, some of which can have dire effects when interacting with alcohol in the body. Mixing alcohol with heart disease medication can dangerously slow the heartbeat or halt it, leading to a medical emergency. Taking alcohol while on a diabetes regimen can lead to life-threatening blood sugar level changes.
Strained Personal Relations
Excessive alcohol intake can make it hard for families, caregivers and friends to co-exist and strain once-perfect relationships. Inebriation can cause older adults to make false promises and utter insensitive words. It is also a leading factor for unruly social behavior, child neglect and domestic violence in families.
Alcohol is expensive and can lead to financial problems when not taken in moderation. An insatiable appetite for alcohol can deplete your savings. Drinking before important activities like going to the ATM or other financial transactions can lead to impulse spending and ruin your budget. Being old and broke is not desirable at all, especially when you can avoid it.
While alcohol can offer various benefits when taken in moderation, the adverse is true and has a worse impact on older people. The biggest challenge is drawing the line between moderate and overindulgence. If you cannot muster enough self-discipline to control your intake, quitting alcohol is the best option to add to your sunset years’ bliss.