Don’t be fooled…the tee-total truth about alcohol and aging

April is Alcohol Awareness month.  We want you to stay healthy for the fun things in this phase of your life. For many of us, those fun things involve grandchildren.  Their births, graduation ceremonies and weddings are all events you will want to be a part of and that requires staying healthy.  One factor that affects health is alcohol use and abuse.

Many times families, friends, and healthcare workers often overlook their concerns about older people drinking. Sometimes trouble with alcohol in older people is mistaken for other conditions related to aging.  But, how the body handles alcohol can change with age.  Drinking too much alcohol over a long time can worsen some conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis.  It can also make some medical conditions more difficult for doctors to find and treat.  Brain damage, liver damage and some types of cancer can result from long term alcohol consumption.  Also, confusion and forgetfulness are sometimes mistaken for signs of Alzheimer’s disease but are actually effects of alcohol.  
Mixing medications with alcohol can be very dangerous, sometimes even deadly.

As a senior or caregiver of a senior, make healthy lifestyle choices so you can enjoy this season of life to its fullest.  Some suggestions are to develop interests that don’t involve alcohol. Avoid drinking “triggers” (places, people, times of day).  Create a plan of action if you have an urge to drink.  Most importantly, stay safe and healthy for the fun things, like grandchildren!!