The Dangers of Drinking Too Much for Seniors

Many people like to have a cocktail, a glass of wine, or a beer occasionally. And there is nothing wrong with an adult having an occasional drink for the most part. But if you or your loved one’s home care provider is worried that your elderly loved one is either having too much to drink or drinking too much in one setting, he might be putting himself (and those around him) at risk.

While starting a conversation around drinking might be difficult, you can always ask for the help and support of a home care provider or bring your parent’s doctor into the conversation. If it doesn’t seem that serious yet, you might just sit with your parent and explain to him how alcohol use has some additional risks for the elderly that he should consider before he decides to pick up that next drink.

Here are some situations that your senior should consider and that home care can monitor.

Home Care York PA - The Dangers of Drinking Too Much for Seniors

Home Care York PA – The Dangers of Drinking Too Much for Seniors

Drinking can lead to falls

Many seniors struggle with balance issues. Due to medications or other health issues, they may have problems finding sure footing even when completely sober. Add in a drink or two, and it can become even more difficult to maintain balance, and that can lead to falls. While most falls don’t result in serious injury, the elderly often already have weakened bones or a slower response time to break a fall, and the chances of really hurting themselves are greater.

Alcohol doesn’t always mix well with medications

Before your loved one has that drink, he should know how it’ll react with any other medications he may be taking at the same time. Many medicines — prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal remedies — can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol. Many older people take medications every day, making this a concern. Whenever receiving a new medication or supplement, your parent should talk to the prescriber about how it mixes with alcohol. If it’s a concern, a home care provider may want to label the medication in bold writing so that it won’t be mixed with alcohol.

Alcohol puts your loved one at risk

Because alcohol can impair judgment, it can put your parent at great risk of making a choice that can lead to a life-ending consequence. Alcohol is a factor in about 30% of suicides and fatal motor vehicle crashes, 40% of fatal burn injuries, 50% of drownings and homicides, and 65% of fatal falls. It can dampen one’s sense of what is right and wrong and cause a person to make a choice that they wouldn’t make otherwise.

It can ruin your budget

Alcohol continues to get more and more expensive. Drinks while out at local establishments can easily cost between $10-$20 each and even purchasing bottles of wine at a liquor store can add up. If your parent is on a fixed income, he may find he doesn’t have the money he needs for food, or medication if he’s spending several hundred dollars on liquor each month.

Talk to your loved one if you feel there is a concern about his alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol doesn’t mean he has an alcohol use disorder, he might just have to reevaluate when he should drink and how much he should drink.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in York PA, please talk to us. Our friendly staff can answer all of your questions.  In-home Senior Care in Adams and York Counties, PA. Call Today: (717) 698-8258.

Jessica Ott