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The Dangers of Alcoholism in the Elderly

the-dangers-of-alcoholism-in-the-elderly

For a professional caregiver, working with home care services in Georgia means working with a variety of personalities. One of these is the alcoholic, someone who has spent a portion of his or her life at the mercy of alcohol abuse.

There are many reasons why a person becomes an alcoholic and develops a life-long relationship with the substance. Of course, we won’t be discussing that here, but the point we’d like to stress is that alcoholism can have various dangerous effects, particularly on the elderly.

One of the most significant effects of alcohol on anyone of any age is that it impairs the brain’s functioning. Specifically, alcohol blocks neurotransmitters – these are nerve cells in the brain responsible for sending out electrical impulses that govern our movement.

When we’re younger, the brain can forge new connections quickly to replace those that alcohol destroyed. However, as we grow older, our brain’s plasticity slows down, which means that the damage is not easily repaired. This results in chronic or persistent problems in mobility, speech, and even cognitive abilities.

When someone’s alcoholism progresses well into their elder years, he or she can find herself suffering difficulties in maintaining balance and walking. Their cognitive abilities also decline, especially their memories. They might need daily living assistance.

By that time, their livers may have also suffered so much damage that it becomes scarred – symptoms of liver cirrhosis, which can progress quickly to multiple diseases like hepatitis, ascites, and others. It might also lead to liver failure altogether.

Do you have a relative who requires home health care in Savannah, Georgia? Feel free to reach out to us at Magnolia Total Care. We’d be more than happy to help you.

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