Key Facts about Alcohol-Induced Dementia

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Over the last 15 years, it’s estimated that alcohol abuse in seniors has 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 alcohol or substance abuse disorders. People who abuse alcohol habitually experience a wide range of medical conditions, including cirrhosis of the liver. However, the toxic effects of chronic alcohol abuse can also lead to cognitive issues such as alcohol-induced dementia.

How Alcohol-Induced Dementia Develops

Alcohol impacts certain areas of the brain responsible for producing, releasing, and transmitting dopamine. Excessive alcohol consumption also affects the glutamate receptor sites, leading to a lack of physical coordination, slurred speech, mood changes, and cognitive issues. Seniors who drink heavily often have thiamine or vitamin 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 elderly home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one 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 
  • Disorientation 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Inability to remember the names of common objects or people 
  • Difficulty tracking time 
  • Language difficulties 
  • Inaccurate 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, an Auburn homecare 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.

Treatment Options 

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 achieve 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 special 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 doesn’t 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. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Auburn seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (334) 744-7100.


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