Drinking over a lifespan

Alcohol and the elderly

Physical effects. The body’s ability to process alcohol declines with age. The body’s water content also declines. Therefore, a smaller amount of alcohol can have a bigger effect on an older person than on a younger one. Also, alcohol may interact with medications that are more common among older people. Therefore, a smaller amount of alcohol can have a bigger effect

At the same time, there is evidence that moderate drinking may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia, the leading causes of disability in old age.

Take the time to reconsider how much and how often you drink alcohol from time to time to be sure your drinking is consistent with a well-balanced lifestyle.

Medication. Taking medication can become a fact of life as we age, but it may be risky to add alcohol to the mix. Alcohol can change or counteract the effects of some medications. Be sure to speak with your healthcare professional about whether or not to drink alcohol, considering what medications you are taking.