Wednesday Workshop – Alcohol and Alzheimer’s
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. Anyone at any age can have a drinking problem. But, how the body handles alcohol can change with age. Alcohol may act differently in older people than in younger people. Some seniors can feel “high” without increasing the amount of alcohol they drink. This “high” can put them at a higher risk to have accidents like falls and/or fractures.
It’s no secret that drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time can have serious health effects such as liver damage, cancer, high blood pressure, ulcers and sometimes even brain damage.
So, how much alcohol is too much?
Although everyone is different, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that people over 65 years old should have no more than seven drinks a week and no more than three drinks on any one day. If your loved one has health problems or if they’re taking medicines, then they may need to drink less or not consume alcohol at all. Speak with their doctor!
One drink is equal to one of the following:
• One 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer, ale, or wine cooler
• One 8 or 9-ounce can or bottle of malt liquor
• One 5-ounce glass of red or white wine
• One 1.5-ounce shot glass of hard liquor (spirits) like gin, vodka, or whiskey. The label on the bottle will say 80 proof or less.
When does drinking become a problem with the elderly?
Some people have been heavy drinkers for many years. But, over time the same amount of alcohol packs a bigger punch. Some people don’t develop a drinking habit until later in life. Not everyone who drinks daily has a drinking problem. And, not all alcoholics have to drink every day.
You might want to get help if your loved one hides or lies about drinking, has more than seven drinks a week, or more than three drinks per day. Definitely seek help if your loved one gets hurt or harms others when drinking.
No one wants to get hurt or to hurt others as a result of too much alcohol. Yet, it can happen if your loved one drinks more than they should. Be aware of how your loved one acts while drinking. Be alert to changes. If you think your loved one has a serious drinking problem, there is help! Start by talking to a doctor. Also, the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center is here to help. We can provide you with information and resources. To speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center, feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!