Alcoholism is a serious condition that can cause a lot of conflict and pain in an individual’s life, along with a number of health problems. While many seem to associate alcoholism with younger generations, it can also affect those in senior assisted living. There are a number of reasons for this, which we will explore below, as well as how it can affect seniors.
While some seniors have a history of drinking alcohol throughout their adult lives, there are others who may not have indulged in alcohol on a regular basis until they hit their senior years. Perhaps they have entered assisted living care in Oklahoma City and see alcohol as a way of coping. Maybe they are around more individuals who drink socially and have picked it up themselves. Many seniors begin drinking as a way to feel better or simply out of curiosity regarding how it may affect them. Others may use alcohol as a way to focus on what they need to do. Regardless of the reason for starting, it’s important for family members to pay close attention to the signs of addiction.
Once you identify your loved one has started drinking, you must keep an eye out for signs this is becoming a more serious problem that needs to be addressed for the health and wellbeing of your aging loved one. The following are some of the symptoms you should be on the lookout for:
Short-term memory loss
Making excuses for drinking
Changes in social behavior
Isolation from family and friends
If your loved one is exhibiting any of these signs, it’s important to sit down with them and discuss the situation, including assisted living options in OKC that may help fix some of the underlying causes of their drinking. Without careful attention, these symptoms could go unnoticed and ultimately lead to serious health problems that could be detrimental to the well-being of your senior loved one.
As your body ages, its ability to process things changes due to changes in the body. Alcohol is no different. When you are in your senior years, you typically have less muscle to absorb the alcohol, which means more of it will enter your bloodstream and affect you in a number of ways. It also takes longer to fully absorb, allowing you to feel the negative effects for a longer period of time, forcing your body to work harder to get rid of the alcohol in your system.
In addition to the body’s inability to process alcohol the way it once did, abuse of alcohol can also increase already high risks of developing certain medical conditions in the elderly. Many seniors are already at an elevated risk of developing diabetes. Alcohol increases this possibility. In addition to diabetes, seniors who drink can also be at a higher risk of high blood pressure, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, liver problems, osteoporosis, memory issues, mood disorders and dehydration. Alcohol can also negatively interact with a number of medications, further complicating senior health problems.
If you’re looking for assisted living options in OKC, contact us. We can help you decide if our facility is the right place for your aging loved one.