1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Does Alcohol Affect Older People Differently?

By

Updated February 14, 2014

Question: Does Alcohol Affect Older People Differently?
Answer: Yes. As a person ages, certain mental and physical functions tend to decline, including vision, hearing, and reaction time. Moreover, other physical changes associated with aging can make older people feel "high" after drinking fairly small amounts of alcohol. These combined factors make older people more likely to have alcohol-related falls, automobile crashes, and other kinds of accidents.

In addition, older people tend to take more medicines than younger persons, and mixing alcohol with many over-the-counter and prescription drugs can be dangerous, even fatal. (See Question 18.)

Further, many medical conditions common to older people, including high blood pressure and ulcers, can be worsened by drinking. Even if there is no medical reason to avoid alcohol, older men and women should limit their intake to one drink per day. (See also Alcohol Use In Older People and Alcohol Alert No. 40: Alcohol and Aging.)

Back to: Alcoholism FAQ

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Alcoholism

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.