Tackling Alcohol Dependency in Older Women
Challenges to Identifying Alcohol Dependencies
Social Determinants at Play
- Age: Older women often have smaller social circles, cope with grief and loss, experience loneliness, spend more time alone, and are less likely to be married than their male counterparts.
- Education: “Older women may have less education than their male counterparts, and are therefore less likely to have comparable income or employment that yields access to health insurance,” says Dr. Walton-Moss.
- Health Literacy: Adults over 65 have a harder time accessing health information that only exists online, or is not written in plain language. They’re also less likely to be included in medical decisions with their provider or caregiver.
- Gender: “Women are likely to feel stigmatized when they have an alcohol dependency,” says Dr. Walton-Moss.
Screening Must Be Adapted for Older Women
- How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?
- How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?
- How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?