How to Curb Alcoholism in the Elderly

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Elderly alcoholism is a real and fairly common issue. Many aging adults drink to forget about problems, calm their nerves, or alleviate depression. Although having a light, social drink from time to time may not be problematic, routine and excessive drinking can take its toll at this stage of life. As people grow older, their bodies start to process alcohol differently. Excessive drinking can also increase the likelihood of diabetes, hypertension, and many other serious health conditions seniors receiving Naples elderly care face. Following are several things you can do to help your senior loved one if he or she has developed a drinking problem.

Identify the Signs of Alcoholism

When seniors drink with the sole intention of altering their moods or forgetting or overcoming problems, this may be a sign of a developing alcoholism issue. Gulping down drinks, hiding alcohol, lying about how much alcohol is being consumed, and regularly having one or more drinks each day are all signs to watch out for. Seniors who have sustained injuries from falls or other physical harm as the result of their drinking are in danger of alcoholism as well. When problems like these exist, ask your loved one’s doctor to recommend local options for treatment and support groups.

Show Your Concern

Facing a loved one’s alcoholism is difficult at every stage of life. Legal adults, however, cannot be forced into treatment. This is a decision your loved one must make voluntarily. However, to help your loved one start making choices in his or her best interests, it is important to express your concern and unwillingness to support or overlook a drinking problem any longer. Local counseling services can assist by helping families arrange formal interventions.

Educate Your Loved One

Seniors who develop alcoholism often overlook the effects aging has on their ability to tolerate and process alcohol. Talk to your loved one about the potential side effects of pairing alcohol with medications. Share statistics on alcoholism in the elderly and refer to online resources. You can consult with your family doctor as well to obtain additional information for this discussion.

Help Him or Her Seek Treatment

It is important for seniors to take part in supervised alcohol treatment, rather than attempting to detox on their own at home. The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be both prolonged and severe, making detoxification dangerous for seniors without the aid of trained medical professionals. Once your loved one has made a commitment to receiving treatment, help him or her identify the necessary resources for a safe and comfortable detoxification process.

With the right emotional support, you may be able to prevent your loved one from developing a drinking problem. However, having additional outside support may be even more effective. A professional in-home caregiver can be your loved one’s companion and report to you if unhealthy habits related to alcoholism occur. For part-time and 24-hour care Naples families trust, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available 24/7 to provide your loved one with emotional support and assist with a wide variety of daily tasks. For more information, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (239) 449-4701 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

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