Alcohol abuse among the elderly is increasing

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Alcohol-related hospital deliveries to seniors increased significantly

As the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) reports, alcohol abuse among seniors has increased significantly in the past ten years. As a result, seniors have to be treated more and more in hospital for alcohol-related illnesses. Since 2000, the number of over 65-year-old patients who had to be treated in a clinic for alcohol-related mental disorders has increased by more than 75 percent in some federal states, according to the TK.

TK reports that older women and men are often not aware of the fact that alcohol tolerance decreases with age. While they tolerated alcohol well in younger years, the same amount leads to a significantly higher alcohol level in old age, since the water content in the body decreases over the years, the health insurance company said in its press release. Seniors also need longer for the liver to break down alcohol and there are often risky drug interactions. TK therefore advises "to critically question your own alcohol consumption." A first step could be a confidential discussion with the family doctor.

Society has a massive alcohol problem With reference to the figures from the Federal Statistical Office, the TK has warned of the significant increase in alcohol-related inpatient treatment of seniors. Men are particularly often affected by significant problems with their alcohol consumption in old age. According to the health insurance company, four out of five patients who had to be hospitalized for more than seven days because of alcohol abuse were male. In the press release by the TK State Representation in Hesse on the subject of alcohol abuse among seniors, the managing director of the Hessian State Office for Addiction Issues, Wolfgang Schmidt-Rosengarten, is quoted as saying: “This development shows that in our society there is a massive alcohol problem across all age groups. Not only among adolescents - as it is mostly perceived. ”The increase in hospital deliveries due to alcohol abuse has increased approximately equally among Hessian senior citizens (74 percent) and senior citizens (76 percent) in the past few years, TK Weiter.

Missing tasks and loneliness as the cause of alcohol consumption In addition to the generally increased susceptibility of the organism to alcohol in old age, Wolfgang Schmidt-Rosengarten estimates that the alcohol problems in the elderly are often “critical life phases in which those affected sometimes withdraw or missing tasks due to entry to retirement, which then causes frustration or boredom. "The seniors lack the meaning in life, they are socially isolated and often have the feeling that they are no longer needed, according to the experts. There is also often a lack TK said that social control “that one had at a young age through a partner or at work through a colleague or a supervisor.” The increased susceptibility to alcohol has the consequence that already relatively low amounts of drunkenness and thus with it associated risk of falling or accidents TK is therefore mostly due because the seniors are disoriented or injured in falls. (fp)

Also read:
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Looks for a big problem in old age
Many seniors are addicted to medicines

Image: Gerd Altmann /

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Video: Addiction in the Elderly - Timothy Fong, MD. UCLAMDCHAT Webinars


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