Health experts encourage adults to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, and for those who regularly consume this amount of drink already, to spread the intake over a few days rather than in one go. The effect alcohol has on our health is publically known, but the lasting effects drinking has on our bodies as we get older is an issue that needs to be discussed more.
Alcoholism is an increasing problem facing the elderly generation. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has said that 6-11% of elderly people admitted into hospital have shown symptoms of drink abuse, with 20% being admitted for psychiatric treatment and 14% admitted into emergency rooms due to the effect alcohol has had on their health. There is a variety of reasons why alcoholism has become a risk to the lives of the older generation; relieving painful symptoms from other health issues, a way of gaining short-term happiness or because of boredom following retirement.
Dry January is an annual movement in which millions of people give up drinking alcohol throughout the month in order to control their relationship with alcohol and allow their body to take a break from the effects of alcohol. It is understandable that some alcohol has a more damaging effect on the elderly body compared to someone younger, and can have a bigger impact of the health of the liver. The liver’s functions include processing food, combating infections, breaking down food into energy; in fact, the liver has over 500 functions so keeping it as healthy as possible is key to good health.
This month, Heritage Healthcare are combining Dry January and Love Your Liver month to bring awareness to the increase of elderly alcoholism. Throughout the month, we will be releasing information about the impact of alcohol, ways to keep the liver healthy and sharing alternative recipes to try throughout the month and giver the body a detox.