Alcohol use among older adults has been rising steadily over the past few decades. By 2020, it is estimated that 5.7 million seniors will use or misuse alcohol. The reasons that elders choose to drink vary. One thing is certain, it becomes a dangerous combination for those with chronic conditions.
Increased health care costs associated with alcohol use in Medicare patients topped over $26 billion in 2006. Medical and related expenses were even higher for older adults with chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease and others.