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More People Over 60 Abusing Alcohol in the UK

Posted in Alcoholism

A growing number of people in the UK are drinking more heavily after retirement, reflecting a surge in “late-onset” alcohol abuse. According to an article on Times Online, a survey of more than 800 people over the age of 60 found that 13 percent drank more after retirement, despite the risks to their health.

Of these, almost one in five drank alcohol because of depression, while 13 percent drank to deal with bereavement. More than one in ten said they most often drank when they were alone.

A separate poll of more than 2,000 adults found that one in tem was concerned about the amount of alcohol consumed by a friend or family member aged 60 and over. Foundation66, the London-based alcohol and drug charity that commissioned the research, said there was an epidemic of “late-onset” alcohol misuse among those over 60.

Research has shown that the number of older people drinking and ending up in the hospital as a result of alcohol abuse is increasing. Sally Scriminger, the chief executive of Foundation66, said, “The older people we see with drink problems come from all walks of life.”

“Many are retired professionals, who have never had issues with alcohol in the past. They don’t even have to leave home to buy alcohol—supermarket delivery services will bring it straight to their door. Because they don’t fit the stereotypes people hold about alcohol misuse, and because they often keep their drinking hidden, there just are not enough services out there to offer them the help they need,” Scriminger said.

She continued, “A huge number of people are clearly worried about the drinking habits of their parents or grandparents. Our own projects have scratched the surface of a huge unmet need among older people, and the problem will only get worse.”