For several reasons, many older alcoholics are never diagnosed and offered treatment for their dependency.
- Older adults often have less contact with others. They may live in smaller households and have less need to leave their homes. As a result, they may not be seen as problem drinkers.
- Health care professionals are reluctant to diagnose alcohol abuse in cases of malnutrition or falls.
- Some think it’s too late to seek change.
Alcohol ages the older person more rapidly. Alcohol plus a fall can speed a downward spiral even more quickly, leading to premature disability and death.
But older adults are also more likely to follow recommended treatment programs than those younger. It is never too late to seek help. It is not kind to ignore the signs of alcoholism in the older adult.