Drinking restrictions for the elderly

According to a new report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, people over the age of 65 are being advised not to drink more than half a pint of beer a day.

They write that exceeding this amount could lead to them damaging their health as they are less able to process alcohol. They add drinking guidelines do not take into account the ageing process and its effect on the body, and separate limits need to be bought in. Doctors at the college say the current 'safe' level of three or four units daily is far too high for older male drinkers, for whom the limit should be 1.5 units - or half a pint of standard-strength beer. For women, they suggest not drinking more than one unit a day.

Dr Tony Rao, a consultant in old age psychiatry and a member of the working group that drew up the report entitled 'Our Invisible Addicts', says the effects of drinking on the elderly must be reviewed. He explained, “As we age, there are other accompanying factors such as increasing memory problems and physical health problems and less of an ability to get rid of alcohol from the blood stream. This means that the effects of what we would currently call the safe limits are actually more damaging for older people.”

The recommendation received criticism any quite a few suggested that the report is interfering and unnecessary.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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