December 2016 and forward
There are many complications that go along with seniors drinking alcohol. Alcohol, coupled with health problems, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and heart disease can lead to health decline and senior behavior and happiness can be at stake.
Here are the considerations to take into account with regard to seniors and alcohol:
- In seniors, alcohol tolerance weakens. Many studies show that the aged experience greater alcohol-related impairment. An aging body just can’t metabolize alcohol as effectively, and as a result, seniors can experience more significant coordination and memory problems and an increased risk of falls and accidents — a real problem in those with limited mobility.
- Alcohol aggravates, creates, and even causes new medical conditions. Just some of the conditions that are exacerbated by alcohol include diabetes, osteoporosis and malnutrition. [West Virginia University School of Public Health.]
- Combining alcohol with medications can be risky; causing drug interactions that may reduce the effects of the medication or, conversely, render it more dangerous or even toxic.
- Late onset alcoholism can be a result physical pain, emotional stress, and loneliness. Feelings of isolation from the death of a spouse, the stress of moving out of the family home and into senior living, or a difficult transition into retirement, can lead to increased alcohol use and even dependence.
With the above factors to consider, it’s easy to understand why some senior living communities might decide it isn’t worth the risk to serve alcohol.
The Alcohol Policy of San Clemente Villas by the Sea, commencing Dec. 1, 2016, shall be this: No alcohol shall be served at Happy Hour or other functions. We will continue to have Sparkling Cider and other non-alcoholic drinks. There will be a 2 drink limit at dinner time. As always any resident on the “no alcohol” list as generated by doctor’s instructions, will not be served alcohol. Except for residents on the “no alcohol” list, alcohol purchased by residents or family and kept in their room will not be monitored unless it becomes an issue, at which time we will investigate and in conjunction with professional advice, make a decision about moving the resident to the “no alcohol” list. As always, we thank everyone for their cooperation in this vital matter.