Older adults are today one of the fastest growing populations of dangerous drinkers, with Kiwis over 50 drinking more and more each time than adults in nine countries, health experts warn.
In a statement, APSAD Auckland said that a review of international research data found growing evidence that abusive alcohol use is a major concern in older populations, with estimates of the number of elderly drinking at varying risk levels more than 20%. .
In New Zealand, up to 40% of older adults are dangerous drinkers, over 50 drinking and drinking more each time than older adults in nine other countries, including England, Russia, the United States, Mexico and China .
Andy Towers, a professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Massey University, said: "Baby boomers around the world are drinking more than previous generations of older adults and many are drinking at harmful levels.
"We need to act now to reduce the rate of dangerous consumption in this group, maintain their health and reduce dependency on care."
Research has found that older drinkers present a unique set of challenges, especially for physicians and health professionals, because of the greater physiological sensitivity to alcohol; more co-morbid health conditions; the use of medications that alcohol may interfere with; an increased risk of alcohol-related mental health problems; and a greater likelihood of alcohol-related injury and death.
Researchers also found that although they see their GPs often, many older drinkers are losing their breath because health professionals often lacked specific training on how to identify the major risks to older drinkers, as well as the use of inappropriate tools that neglect the major health problems. risk factors.
Dr. David Newcombe, Director of the Center for Addiction Research at the University of Auckland, said: "Many older adults and their GPs feel uncomfortable discussing alcohol use, many do not understand what a standard drink is and which ones are the low risk guidelines. " and many work under the presumption – now seriously in question – that a little alcohol is good for you. "
Lead researcher Adrienne Withall of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at UNSW Australia added, "Older drinkers may be hard to get involved with, but doctors need to do better to ensure confidence and quickness before asking about the use of alcohol.
"We need to convey the message that older people should ideally limit their drink to one standard drink per day, with two days without alcohol per week. Unfortunately, we do not believe there is a safe drinking level for people with dementia."