Alcoholism is a growing problem the older generation are suffering from. There are many reasons behind why a lot of elderly people are turning to drink in later life. For those who are already suffering from health problems, alcohol becomes a pain killer to make living with conditions easier. For some, life after retirement is unfulfilling, especially if work life has had a big impact, so being out of a routine and not having goals to aspire to can lead to boredom. Loneliness following the loss of a significant other also has an impact on the older generation, leading to depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
The liver is an important part of the body. It processes digested food, turning it into energy and making enzymes and proteins responsible for repairing damaged tissues. It absorbs nutrients and detoxifies harmful substances from the blood. Keeping the liver strong so it can continue with its functions is important for a healthy lifestyle.
Elderly health can be massively impacted by an excessive intact of alcohol. Liver damage can be caused, and can lead to alcohol hepatitis, fatty liver and cirrhosis; studies show that 50% of elderly people with cirrhosis passed away within a year of the diagnosis.
It’s not just the liver that is impacted by alcohol; there is a reduction to cognitive action, meaning poor judgement, falls, fractures and frequent car accidents which can be confused for Alzheimer’s or Dementia symptoms. Due to the lack of Vitamin D and calcium, bones become fragile and brittle, and for someone who is considered an alcoholic, they will usually have a poor diet with their main calorie intake coming from the alcohol. Excessive intake can result in High Blood Pressure and a risk to stoke in future life. Mixing alcohol with prescribed medication can cause even more health issues as well as a reduced quality of sleep.
Throughout January, Heritage Healthcare are bringing more awareness to the health implications alcohol has on the elderly generation. Combining Dry January and Love Your Liver month, we are encouraging more people to adapt a healthier lifestyle, especially following a festive merry period.
Changing your diet can have huge health benefits for your body. Cutting out alcohol will give your liver a chance to repair itself and help it do the jobs it needs to do. Bringing in more vitamins and nutrients into meals, with plenty of fresh green vegetables and oily fish will boost the body and provide it with more energy to repair itself against infections.
Heritage Healthcare support individuals to live comfortably and supported in their own homes. Our personal care, household duties, and companionship services help people get the right care for their needs.