Community Blog

Moderation Key for Seniors and Alcohol Consumption

By Debbie Humphrey

Many adults, young and old, enjoy those special opportunities to imbibe with family and friends, choosing their preferred cocktail, wine or brew. This is not necessarily a bad thing, considering alcohol is a legal drug in the United States, (if you are of legal drinking age, that is), and studies show that alcohol in moderation can impart certain health benefits, especially for middle-aged men and older women.

Seniors and alcohol can mix, but the key is moderation.

“High alcohol consumption has been negatively associated with more than 200 acute and chronic conditions,” as well as high health care costs, wrote the authors of a study led by Craig S. Knott, BS, of University College London.

This study indicates that moderate consumption of alcohol can be beneficial to heart-health, while heavier drinking contributes to heart disease and other serious health issues.

The researchers looked at data from two groups of adults over the course of ten years. The first group was comprised of more than 18,000 people, and the second group, more than 34,000. The patients reported how many alcoholic drinks they typically consumed each week.

They found that drinking only provided modest health benefits for men who were 50-64 years-old and women who were older than 65. Further conclusions showed alcohol only led to health benefits in older women who consumed ten or fewer drinks per week.

“Heart foundations now emphasize that nobody should be encouraged to drink for the sake of their health,” wrote Mike Daube, Hon DSci, of Curtin University in Perth, Australia, in an editorial about this study.

Dr. Daube advised that “if something looks too good to be true, it should be treated with great caution.”

Considering all drugs have side effects, and the consumption of alcohol at any age can become problematic, it is important to monitor alcohol intake by seniors to ensure their safety and well-being.

If you have questions or require more information about seniors and alcohol and the best ways to keep them safe and healthy, contact the professionals at Home Helpers today: 727.942.2539