Pavilion Health Today
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Alcohol misuse and older people: providing support and challenging stigma

Alcohol misuse is a growing problem for older people. But old age psychiatrist Dr Tony Rao believes all practitioners have a role to play in identifying those in need and ensuring they receive support without stigma or shame. 

Key learning points Within the last five years, the percentage of alcohol specific hospital admissions in England have risen by 22% in the over 50s. Between 2005/6 and 2020/21, there has been an 80% increase in the number of people aged 65 and over seeking treatment for alcohol addiction in England. Misuse of alcohol among the older population has become even worse since the pandemic hit. The most significant presentation for alcohol misuse is falls. Other symptoms include poor sleep, nausea, vomiting, depression, and problems with memory and concentration. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a ten minute


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