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Can The Elderly Be Alcoholic?

Feb 13, 2018 | QA

Depending on what age that a person is, can affect how the body processes alcohol. In younger people, their bodies have not yet built up a tolerance and the potency can affect them much greater in smaller amounts. In adults, with even moderate drinkers, the amount that they consume typically will have to increase to catch the buzzed effects that alcohol provides. For elderly adults, alcohol influences them in different ways as they begin to age.

Statistics show that one third of older alcoholics develop their addiction later life, while the rest of those two-thirds have been an alcoholic since their early inception of alcohol. As life changes for both groups from retiring, health issues, and loss of loved ones, alcohol abuse can be incited exponentially in seniors.

Alcoholism remains undiscovered in many senior patients until it may be too late. Doctors can mistakenly diagnose an elderly patient with Alzheimer’s or dementia, when the prognosis should really be alcohol-induced dementia. Seniors can be deceitful when it comes to hiding their addiction because they can hide the alcoholism behind their ailments that they have incurred due to getting older. There is also danger with mixing alcohol and prescription drugs when the elderly alcoholic does not disclose their alcohol abuse to the doctor. Older patients are prescribed on the average 2 medicines for daily intake, which can be unsafe or fatal depending on the type of ingredients that are being mixed.

The problems that arise with alcoholism in geriatric patients are changes that take place amongst cellular and organ systems. Increases in ethanol concentration of these systems occur because of the natural loss of lean body mass from aging. Fat takes longer to absorb alcohol than lean body mass, which makes a higher content of alcohol circulate in the bloodstream. The risks of having larger contents of alcohol in the blood can also affect blood pressure on a lower scale making someone feel dizzy or faint. This makes the elderly alcoholics more susceptible to falls and possible delirium. There are many more maladies that are possibly caused from alcoholism in seniors that need to be pinpointed as soon as possible.


  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Cancers
  • Strokes
  • Immunosuppression
  • Gastrointestinal Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Impairment of the Brain


Getting treatment for alcoholism at any age may make the difference in helping to alleviate the symptoms that may or may not have been caused from drinking. Cessation of alcohol should be monitored by the help of a physician to monitor severe withdrawals that may ensue.





Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can help someone who has an addiction to alcohol to get sober. Our comprehensive environment offers a program of recovery to foster a promising new beginning.

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At Serenity Oaks Wellness Center, we offer residential detox and addiction treatment with a wide range of modalities to address the needs of all our clients. Our high staff-to-client ratio ensures everyone that enters our facility gets the personal attention they need and deserve for a safe and successful detox process. To learn more about our program, contact Serenity Oaks Wellness Center today at 844-720-6847.
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