Focus on Alcohol Misuse among Older People

  • Post category:News

The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) has published a report on alcohol misuse among older people on the Island of Ireland.

According to CARDI, “many public health campaigns on the misuse of alcohol are aimed at younger age groups. However, there is evidence that alcohol misuse is increasing in people over the age of 65. For a variety of reasons, alcohol misuse among these older people may go unnoticed (Department of Work and Pensions, 2013).

“This edition of the CARDI “Focus on . . .” series looks at alcohol misuse among older people across the island of Ireland and asks if more could be done in policy and social work terms to address the associated health and welfare issues among older age groups.”
Some of the report’s key findings include:

  • 10% of people aged 65 or over in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) consumes alcohol on four or more days per week.
  • In Northern Ireland (NI), 7% of the over 65s drink at a level that is above sensible and a further 1% drink at dangerous levels. ·
  • Alcohol misuse in older people can lead to increased physical and mental health problems, greater risk of falls or dangerous interaction with prescription medications.
  • Older people may have developed an alcohol problem at an early age or emotional, social, medical and practical problems can lead to late-onset alcoholism.
  • Several barriers to identifying alcohol misuse in older people exist, including similarities between alcoholism symptoms and other conditions, awareness and attitudes of health practitioners, denial by the older person and the unreliability of self-reports. ·
  • It is important that health professionals can identify and know how to best approach an alcohol problem in an older person and that any policy or health promotion strategy on alcohol misuse is relevant for both older and younger people.

[wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=166 linktext=’Read the full report here’ /]