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[irishhealth.com] , Condon, Deborah Alcohol problems 'often missed' in elderly. (29 Oct 2014)

URL: http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=24145

Alcohol problems often go unrecognised in older people, a leading GP has warned.

According to Dr Juliet Bressan, a GP specialising in substance misuse with the HSE Addiction Service in north Dublin, alcohol consumption in Irish people over the age of 65 tends to be lower than that of other age groups.

However 10% of this population consume alcohol on more than four days per week ‘therefore while older people may consume less alcohol in volume per capita, their pattern of drinking is risky'.

She pointed out that binge drinking and the frequency of consumption are a particular problem in older people ‘due to the increased vulnerability of age'.

However, alcohol problems can remain unrecognised in older people because of a number of reasons, including a lack of training or awareness among healthcare professionals and inappropriate screening tools. In fact, a lack of appropriate screening tools and a failure to implement screening tools in this age group ‘has been identified as a major barrier to identification', Dr Bressan noted....


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