A. No. Many older adults decide to quit drinking later in life. Treatment can work! Changing an old habit is not easy, but it can be done.
A. Some adults do develop a drinking problem when they get older. Health worries, boredom after retirement, or the death of friends and loved ones are some of the reasons why older people start drinking. Feeling tense or depressed can also sometimes be a trigger for drinking.
A. One drink is equal to one of the following:
|One 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer, ale, or wine cooler|
|One 8- or 9-ounce can or bottle of malt liquor|
|One 5-ounce glass of red or white wine|
One 1.5-ounce shot glass of hard liquor (spirits). The label will say 80 proof or less. Spirits include whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, and other hard liquors.
Drinks may be stronger than you think. Some mixed drinks may have more than one 1.5-ounce shot of liquor in them.
A. Everyone is different. If you are healthy and 65 years or older, you should not have more than 7 drinks in a week. Don't have more than 3 drinks on any given day.
Do you have a health problem? Are you taking certain medicines? You may need to drink less or not drink at all. Talk to your doctor.
A. This may be true for some people, but if you have a problem with alcohol, it's better for you to avoid drinking at all. You can get many of the same health benefits from a glass of grape juice. Ask your doctor or another healthcare worker for advice.
A. It isn’t always easy to get people to say that they have a drinking problem. Some older adults may be ashamed about their drinking. Others may feel their drinking doesn’t hurt anyone. See "For family, friends, and caregivers" below to learn how you can offer support and get help for yourself.
Publication Date: June 2011
Page Last Updated: September 23, 2013