During the holiday season people tend to have several social events and family get-togethers to celebrate this time of year. As we get older there are many elements to consider when it comes to consuming alcohol. Being conscious of these potential issues is the first step toward not only drinking responsibly, but also being a responsible host.

There are several extenuating factors that play a role in how the mind and body is effected by alcohol.

Alcohol Abuse

Overindulgence is a becoming a substantial problem among the elderly. Seniors may rely on alcohol as a crutch to combat boredom, grief, anxiety, or stress. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to and even intensify all kinds of health problems, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Liver disease
  • Some strains of cancer
  • Brain damage
  • Stroke

If you believe your loved one may have an alcohol problem, it is never too late to get help. In fact, it is just the opposite. The sooner treatment is underway, the better chance there is of reducing the damaging effects.


Happy young women with glasses of champagne. Xmas

A high percentage of seniors take medications for various ailments. Some medications, when mixed with alcohol, can have negative or even dangerous effects. Not only can it magnify intoxication levels, but it can also negate the effectiveness of the medication. Check warning labels for all medications, and do not mix with alcohol as instructed.

Intoxicating Effects

As we age, our bodies process alcohol at a slower rate. It takes less alcohol to become impaired, and it puts a higher strain on the liver. How alcohol effects an individual can also change over time. For example, a person who was once lively and entertaining after a few drinks may now become sombre or even irritable after a couple of drinks.


Falls are already a big risk of injury for the elderly, even without introducing alcohol into the mix. Therefore, it is crucial to mind your alcohol intake and your surroundings to avoid any unnecessary accidents.

Other Ailments

Alcohol can have detrimental effects on people with certain medical conditions. These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiac issues
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Parkinson’s

If you already dealing with one of these conditions you need to be extra vigilant about monitoring your alcohol intake, or refrain entirely.

Due to these potential hazards the elderly can face when consuming alcohol it is important to be a caring and responsible host during the holidays. Keep a close eye on how much people are drinking, and in particular, your elderly guests. Be sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives for guests to enjoy. Ensure your guests have a safe way home, and don’t let anyone drive that has consumed too much alcohol.

If you have any questions about safe alcohol consumption, or require assistance for someone you may feel has a problem, please contact our office for a consultation.