Alcohol Misuse Among The Elderly
Wangari, Mary (2012)
Arcada - Nylands svenska yrkeshögskola
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Statistics have shown that in Finland 5-10% of the elderly have problematic or risky alcohol consumption tendencies at least occasionally. At least 1% of this group is estimated to have long-term alcohol dependency. The majority of alcohol misuse is thought to be hidden. The population of the elderly has grown over the decade and is expected to increase in years to come since the baby-boomers are growing old. An estimated 2/3 of the elderly started drink-ing alcohol in their youth. The other 1/3 started drinking later in life. The elderly people ex-perience loneliness, losing social contact, illness, traumatic experiences and these may exac-erbate alcohol misuse. The purpose of this paper is to create awareness on the existence of alcohol misuse to the healthcare givers and to enlighten them on how to dispense treatments and measures that can be used to curb this problem. The research questions were: What does alcohol misuse among the elderly mean? What are the signs and consequences of alcohol misuse among the elderly? How can alcohol misuse among the elderly be assessed? The theoretical framework was based on Erikkon’s (2006 )theory of the suffering human being. Literature review and content analysis was used to gather information to help answer these questions. Results show that men tend to drink more than the women. The quantity of alco-hol taken is higher among the men than women. There is evidence of harmful drinking among the elderly which could result to falls, hospital visits emergency admissions and to some extremes loss of life. Loss of cognition, anxiety and depression are some of the psy-chological adversities that come with misuse of alcohol. It is not easy to identify the signs of alcohol misuse among the elderly especially because they tend to hide and avoid talking about it. Diseases like stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dementia syndromes and mental problems. CAGE, MAST-G and AUDIT can be used to assess alcohol consumption. Family is important in the intervention and recovery stage.