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Charity targets ‘middle-age’ boozers

Created on 08/06/2016 @ 07:35
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Drug and alcohol support charity Kaleidoscope is launching a new service in the Welshpool area aimed at calling time on excessive drinking amongst a target age group.

Drinking surveys suggest that the number of men and women aged 45 to 65 and over exceeding sensible limits is rising. Evidence is also emerging about the problems older people face caused by life changing events such as retirement, redundancy or bereavement.

Kaleidoscope has launched a campaign to make older people aware of the dangers of excessive drinking with the hope of achieving a significant reduction in alcohol-related harm, enabling older people to live healthier, more active and independent lives and reduce distress to families and carers.

The new service is manned by dedicated health professionals to provide free alcohol-related health checks and give advice, information and support across Powys. Kaleidoscope will also train other professionals on how to provide appropriate advice, interventions and referrals to the new service.

Kaleidoscope’s Powys regional manager Barry Eveleigh said: “It’s time that excessive drinking in older age is recognised as a growing and serious problem and that appropriate and effective preventative treatment services are made available.”

He warned that despite the increasing levels of alcohol-related harm in older people, prevention, screening and treatments remain geared toward the binge-drinking culture of the young. The UK may be facing an epidemic of alcohol-related harm amongst older people. An estimated 1.4 million people aged 65 and over exceed recommended drinking limits.

“Studies indicate that more than a quarter of men and 14 per cent of women aged over 65 drink alcohol more than five times a week. Heavy drinking amongst the over 65 age group is linked with depression, anxiety and long-term health problems,” said Mr Eveleigh.

With metabolisms slowing down with ageing and many older people likely to be taking prescribed medicines that can adversely interact with alcohol, drinking can have a bigger impact on the elderly than on younger people who drink heavily.

Mr Eveleigh added: “Alcohol issues may affect older people differently, but that does not make them less real or important. They may be a symptom of other problems, such as loneliness and isolation, caring for a partner, bereavement or the struggle to make ends meet. The facts speak for themselves and with the numbers of older people as a percentage of the population continuing to rise; this is not an issue that we can ignore.”

Anyone wanting a free alcohol-health check or who would like to talk to one of their staff should contact 01686 207111. The service is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm; appointments can also be arranged out of hours.

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