Information for Seniors

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Information for Seniors

Information for Seniors

How Alcohol Can Affect You
Because your body changes as you age, your response to alcohol will also change.
    • There is some evidence suggesting that sensitivity to alcohol's effects increases with age.
       Seniors have a greater blood alcohol concentration (BAC) compared to younger people after
       consuming the same amount of alcohol. The higher BAC occurs because seniors have less
       water in their bodies to dilute the alcohol. Therefore as you age you develop an increased risk
       for alcohol intoxication and its harmful effects.
   • The area that controls balance in your brain becomes less efficient as you age, and alcohol
      enhances this inefficiency. The more you drink, the more likely you are to fall. As alcohol intake
      increases, seniors are also more likely to suffer hip fractures when they fall. Studies indicate that
      seniors who drink have "thinner" bones than those who don't.
   • The average senior takes two to seven prescription medications daily. Alcohol-medication
      interactions are common among older adults. These interactions can potentially interfere with
      the effectiveness of some medications and possibly cause detrimental health effects.
   • Seniors who are alcoholics are three times more likely to have depression than nonalcoholics.
   • Drinking can cause premature aging of the brain. One study found that there was more brain
      tissue loss in subjects with alcoholism than nonalcoholics even after taking age into account.

Do You Have a Problem?
  According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, seniors over the age of 65 should
  not consume more than one drink a day.
  If you are drinking more than these limits, you may be drinking more than you
  should. Discuss with your provider what a safe amount of alcohol is for you.

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