Home Health Care | Alcohol Drinking Among People Over 65 Pt. 2

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Home Health Care | Alcohol Drinking Among People Over 65 Pt. 2

Home Health Care  | There is also growing evidence that the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia is lower among moderate drinkers than among abstainers—these neurodegenerative disorders are key causes of disability and death among elderly people. Regular dietary intake of flavonoid-rich foods and/or beverages (like red wine) has been associated with a 50 percent reduction in the risk of dementia, a preservation of cognitive performance, a delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and a reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

On a day to day level, some scientific data shows that quality of life is better and total mortality is lower among moderate drinkers than among abstainers—one study demonstrated that regular moderate alcohol consumption increases life span and quality of life for men up to 80 years of age and for women indefinitely.

In another study of almost 25,000 Americans over age 65, those was said they had between 8 and 14 drinks a week did not differ significantly in their characteristics from drinkers consuming 1 to 7 drinks a week, though it’s important to note that heavier drinkers and binge drinkers did not do as well.

The BU statement concluded that since the absolute effects of moderate drinking on cardiovascular disease are much greater in older people than in younger adults, the current limitations on alcohol intake for the elderly may not be appropriate and attempting to persuade elderly people who currently drink moderately, especially healthy moderate and responsible drinkers, to decrease their current intake may not be advisable or in their best health interests.

If you or a loved one are concerned about the amount of alcohol being consumed, keep a record of daily intake over the course of two weeks and talk to your doctor about the totals and about your quality of life and outlook—moderate drinking can be protective, but if the drinking is heavy and could be masking depression or feelings of isolation, those issues need to be addressed. -Parent giving


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