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Review of Alcohol Abuse in Over 65’s in Ireland

Focus On Alcohol Misuse Among Older PeopleAn interesting publication from CARDI looks at alcohol abuse in over 65's bringing together facts and figures to highlight the problem and asks if "more could be done in policy and social work terms to address the associated health and welfare issues among older age groups".

Key facts and figures:

  • 10% of those over 65 are consuming alcohol on four or more days per week, higher than any other age group
  • 16% of people aged 60-74 exceed the weekly guidelines for sensible drinking
  • 7% of men aged 50 and over and 2.7% of women aged 50 and over have an alcohol problem
  • In NI, 7% of the over 65s drink at a level that is above sensible and a further 1% drink at dangerous levels. For men aged 65 and over, 13% drink above sensible levels and 2% drink at dangerous levels
  • 51 people aged over 65 who were alcohol dependent died from traumatic causes, with falls accounting for 40% of these deaths

The article also highlights contributing factors to the onset of alcohol abuse, barriers to identifying alcohol abuse, health issues and the relationship between alcohol abuse and falls and also dementia. Finally an overview of the policy in NI and news of the Rethink Good Health programme from the Big Lottery Fund who have devoted £25m UK wide to tackle late onset of alcohol misuse amongst older people.

Here's a link to the news item on CARDI and also a direct link to the .pdf.

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