An Age-Old Elderly Secret Research Paper

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An Age-Old Elderly Secret: “Alcoholism” University Maryland Eastern Shore September 28, 2014 An Age-Old Elderly Secret: “Alcoholism” Alcoholism and alcohol abuse among the elderly has been a hidden and quiet kept secret that is rarely recognized and often misdiagnosed. Reasons that alcohol abuse and possible dependency goes unnoticed may vary. Could it be a theory that due to the elderly not being as active in mainstream society and therefore, unfortunately, they are seen as simply invisible? Possibly, it could also surface around the etiology of their own public health existence, involving their inviting use or abuse of alcohol as the targeted agent, a genetic and possibly adoptive…show more content…
Geriatrics specialists, Dr. Sally K. Rigler refers to the significance of this in a notable American Family Physician article. Rigler (2000) emphasized, “…the causes of alcohol may be increased in elderly patients because of pharmacologic changes associated with aging. Aging modifies the body’s responsiveness to alcohol and other substances including the manner and rate of absorption, distribution, and excretion” (p. 171). This harsh analysis is yet another reminder of how serious the problems related to alcohol abuse and the elderly have been ignored and disregarded. Unfortunately, older persons are more associated with conditions such as Alzheimer and arthritic pain before they are diagnosed with alcoholism. Treatment, corrective care and other medical health resources, along with the proper and essential prescription guidelines suffer and become barriers, due to the delay in recognition of the condition that may affect the elderly. While some influential changes and progressive measures have taken place in understanding the effectiveness of alcoholism amongst the elderly, it continues to impact protocols such as measurable distinctive concerns for the elderly, challenges and comparable traits, and the initiation of optimal approaches towards preventative techniques, intervention, and treatments for the…show more content…
Challenges such as cancer, heart disease and cardiovascular illnesses can be extensive, some lasting even for years. Furthermore, the elderly are then faced with difficulty performing even basic tasks such as dressing, bathing and eating for themselves. As a result, these conditions often put the elderly in jeopardy for other psychological behaviors as well. A report by the Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association (JAMA) (1996) outlines this in a compelling theory that in many cases, feelings of hopelessness, which most often will accompany alcoholism, may be more important than depression. Expert Dr. Y. D. Coble (1996) exemplifies this concept in a persuasive article written in (JAMA). He summarized his opinion by saying, “The interplay between depression, other chronic illnesses and alcoholism is often common, especially in the elderly. Alcoholism and depression frequently are both implicated in suicides and suicide attempts by the elderly” (p. 797). Could one of the main reasons for this type of frightening impairment be due to the psychological stresses of
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