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Pros and Cons of Wine for the Elderly

By Nancy Delwaide, 9:00 am on

You’ve probably heard red wine has certain health benefits for the elderly when consumed in moderation. While that holds true in many ways, there are also special considerations older adults should take when drinking alcohol. To help your senior loved one decide if drinking wine is a good idea for his or her health, Oakville in-home care experts want to share some information from both sides.

Pros

Red wine is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which promote heart health by increasing the levels of good cholesterol in the blood, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the risk of blood clots. Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, is linked to a reduced risk of inflammation and blood clots.

Drinking wine in moderation can help preserve your loved one’s quality of life. A 2015 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology focused on heavy and moderate drinkers, as well as those who do not drink. The research revealed healthy seniors who consume 1 to 2 alcoholic beverages each day reduce their odds of developing physical disabilities or dying in the next 5 years by 23 percent.

Cons

Research shows seniors retain less water in their bodies, which makes it more difficult to dilute alcohol when consumed. This leads to a higher blood alcohol content than younger adults of similar build who consume the same quantity of alcohol. As a result, aging adults are more susceptible to alcohol’s effects like slurred speech and lack of coordination, which can increase the risk for injury.

Seniors are more likely to have serious medical conditions and be prescribed multiple medications. Not only can consuming alcohol exacerbate diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, liver problems, depression, anxiety, and memory problems, it can also interact negatively with many types of prescription drugs. Because of this, many experts do not recommend seniors begin drinking red wine simply for the health benefits.

Moderation is often the key to reaping the benefits of alcohol, just as it is with the other beverages and foods your loved one consumes. At Home Care Assistance, we believe balance is integral to living a long and healthy life. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method focuses on lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity that can have a positive impact on your loved one’s health. We offer flexible part-time and live-in care plans, and we also offer comprehensive Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and post-stroke care Oakville seniors and their families can count on. For more information on our elderly care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 to request a free in-home consultation.

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