Posts tagged with ‘seniors’

Alcohol Abuse Silently Rising in the Older Population

A recent study reported that elders are more at risk for alcohol abuse than those from a younger generation. In this study of Australians, older and younger generations were reported to binge drink for very different reasons and at different rates, and the former group has to consider complications with alcohol intake that the younger set does not. Full Story

Baby Boomers and Women Drinking More Alcohol

Baby boomers and women of all ages are drinking more alcohol, according to a major study from Columbia University. Full Story

Report on Medicare Cites Prescription Drug Abuse as Major Problem in U.S.

According to a recent article in the NY Times, Congressional investigators explain that thousands of Medicare recipients are abusing prescription drugs by shopping around for new doctors while obtaining prescriptions from each of them, resulting in dangerously large amounts of painkillers. Full Story

Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Among Seniors Could Triple by 2020

The baby boom generation, those born in the tidal wave of U.S. childbirths which occurred between 1944-1964, is beginning to enter the golden years. Older boomers are hitting retirement age with large numbers following just behind them. Some predict that the baby boom generation could soon present health and mental health care providers with needs that stress the system. Rather than aging with the accrued wisdom of years to benefit the Gen Xers, addiction specialists worry that the boomers may rebel against aging by engaging in addictive behaviors. Full Story

Alcohol Dementia

Many people fear the losses associated with growing older. One concern that people often mention is memory loss or the reduced ability to continue to vibrantly interact with their surroundings and others. Exercising mind and body and staying socially involved can help to reduce the risks of losing precious cognitive abilities. What many people may not realize is that 15 to 20 percent of dementia cases are attributable to the abuse of alcohol. Full Story

“Respectable Addicts”

The face of drug addiction is changing. While the general perception of a drug addict is a young person in their teens or twenties struggling to maintain employment and having the appearance of someone down on their luck, that stereotype is being offset by a new group of people struggling with drug abuse: the “respectable addict.” Full Story

Alcoholism Among the Elderly Is a Growing Trend

An American educator named John W. Gardner once commented that there is no other health problem that has been as neglected nationally as alcoholism. Doctors decline alcoholics as patients, hospitals won’t admit them and available treatment methods haven’t been widely useful.

Recently, we see that many elderly have become hidden alcoholics due to loneliness and depression. They have gone from leading productive lives to no longer having family or friends around to support them as they are left alone at home or in nursing homes, according to a recent article in Frost Illustrated.

Most of the elderly are on a variety of medications that do not mix safely with alcohol. When these patients are then hospitalized, often no one knows they are alcoholics which can lead to withdrawal signs complicating treatment.

A simple bout of pneumonia can become complicated with an unknown alcoholic as it lowers the immune system. Alcoholism also causes mineral and vitamin deficiencies that can lead to chronic brain diseases or deficits of the neurological system.

If an alcoholic is admitted, they need to be treated for such deficiencies and given supplements like B1, or thiamine and magnesium in conjunction with other nutrients they are lacking. This becomes complicated when the doctors don’t know the elderly person is an alcoholic. Social Service agencies need to be more aware of the conditions that lead to alcoholism with the elderly, and these elderly individuals also need to be encouraged to become involved in recreational activities for peer interaction.

It is important to make sure you have a neighbor or friend who regularly checks on your elderly family member and also has a key. Check with the nursing home or senior center to get your elderly loved one plugged in to recreational activities to help avoid this growing problem.

Study Says Many Medications Used by Elderly Can Heighten Health Risks, are Unsafe

Many of the medications elderly people use may be the wrong choice because they carry a high risk for falling, daytime grogginess and a loss of cognitive ability, say researchers from the Nordic School of Public Health, Sweden. Full Story