Alcohol Use and Older Adults
Frequently Asked Questions
15. What are signs of a drinking problem?
It’s not always obvious that someone drinks too much. Clues that may point to a drinking problem in an older adult include
- memory loss
- poor appetite
- unexplained bruises
- sleeping problems
- inattention to cleanliness or appearance.
Answering "yes" to at least one of the following questions is also a sign of a possible drinking problem:
- Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
- Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
- Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, talk with your health care provider. Also seek help if you feel you are having drinking-related problems with your health, relationships, or work.
For help cutting back on your drinking, see "Thinking About a Change?" from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).