Red Wine and Senior Health

Whether aging seniors should drink alcohol has been a source of controversy over the last few years. Statistics show that a growing number of seniors are abusing alcohol for various reasons, while others insist that a glass of red wine in the evening can be the best medicine there is. We want to take a look at when and why alcohol might be a problem in someone’s life and if a drink or two might be okay no matter what their age.

Red wine – the good news

Red wine can have positive effects on how our bodies process food and in dealing with the areas of health that sometimes can be a problem.   Researchers are telling us that a reasonable serving of wine during or after supper introduces a healthy level of alcohol to the system empowering the digestive process.

The outcome is drinking just one glass of red wine helps you digest your food better, keeps the digestive track cleaned out, and reduces the incidence of indigestion or heart burn.  That’s not bad for something that tastes good and makes you feel good as well.

Wine has also been well known for years as a beneficial substance for calming the nerves.  Now this can be taken to the extreme but to have a small serving of wine when you are upset is often the prescribed treatment to help you calm down and to reduce nervous anxiety as the result of stress.  

Finally, wine can do a lot as a sleep aid.  Again, this can lead to abuse but in moderation, a small serving of wine just before bed can help you ease into sleep naturally and stay asleep throughout the night.  A good night’s sleep can be highly restorative and have a positive effect on just about every aspect of your health.  You will awake feeling rested, energetic, and ready to get on with your day. 

The bad side of drinking alcohol

The chief concern about aging seniors drinking alcohol is that it is often abused. Whether the person is trying to dull the pain in their body, their aching heart due to the loss of a loved one, or trying to numb their loneliness, many older people are abusing alcohol. Alcohol is never the answer to physical or emotional pain, and the abuser needs to seek immediate help. Talking to their primary care physician is the first step in getting them the assistance they need.

Another problem is that alcohol quite often does not mix well with the medications seniors are taking, and may endanger their health. Depending on what they drink and how much they consume, adverse reactions can cause severe illness or even death.

Seniors should talk to their primary care physician about their medications and what affect alcohol may have before taking another drink. Their doctor may okay a glass of wine before bed or forewarn them of the hazards taking even one drink may have on their overall well being. Whatever the outcome, it’s better to know for sure whether that glass of red wine is okay or not.


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