In the last 15 years, it is estimated that alcohol abuse in seniors escalated by more than 100 percent. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that more than 2.5 million older adults in the United States have an alcohol or substance abuse disorder. People who abuse alcohol habitually experience a wide range of medical conditions, including liver cirrhosis. However, the toxic effects of chronic alcohol abuse can also lead to cognitive issues like alcohol-induced dementia.
How Alcohol-Induced Dementia Develops
Alcohol impacts certain areas of the brain that are responsible for producing, releasing, and transmitting dopamine. Excessive alcohol consumption also affects the glutamate receptor sites, which lead to a lack of physical coordination, slurred speech, mood changes, and cognitive issues.
Seniors who drink heavily often have thiamine or B1 deficiencies. Vitamin B1 is essential for normal neuron function. Inadequate levels of vitamin B1 damage the neurons and lead to alcohol-induced dementia.
Alcohol-induced dementia is just one of the many age-related health issues older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality non-medical senior care. Henderson families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Alcohol-Induced Dementia Symptoms
Some of the common symptoms of alcohol-induced dementia include:
- Aggressive or agitated behavior
- Chronic drowsiness
- Inability to remember the names of common objects or people
- Difficulty tracking time
- Language difficulties
- Inaccurate memories
- Confabulating memories
- Irrational fears or paranoia
- Loss of physical coordination
- Mood and personality changes
- Short and long-term memory loss
- Spastic or jerky body movements
Dementia can impact your loved one’s quality of life and make it difficult to manage everyday activities. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Henderson elder care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
The outcome for someone with alcohol-induced dementia depends on the severity of the condition and the willingness of the individual to follow the steps necessary to gain better health. Alcohol abusers must stop drinking, which often means entering a rehabilitation center or hospital to undergo detox. Following detox, seniors need to work with therapists to develop the life skills needed to stay sober. Family counseling is also beneficial, and having the support of loved ones is essential.
Seniors suspected of having a long-term dependence on alcohol must also undergo testing to determine nutritional deficits that require correcting. If deficiencies exist, seniors may need to take supplements and adhere to proper diets.
Roadblocks to Recovery
In many cases, alcohol-induced dementia can be reversed. However, someone who chronically abuses alcohol and has dementia may not be willing to seek medical assistance. Denial is a common issue. If a senior does not agree to consult with a physician, receive a diagnosis, or enter rehab, the addictive processes that occur in the brain may make it difficult to stay sober.
A dementia diagnosis can be difficult for seniors and their families to face. If you need help caring for your aging loved one while he or she manages the challenges of dementia, turn to Home Care Assistance of Henderson. Dementia care isn’t the only thing we specialize in. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are also trained to assist seniors during stroke recovery and help those living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s maintain a higher quality of life. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, call us at (702) 527-7723 today.