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The article in the Toronto star by Judith Timothy published on September 26, 2013 titled, “Alcohol: the modern woman steroid?” this article deals with elderly adults and alcohol. I find this article interesting because of the high rate of alcohol related accident, illnesses, and cognitive decline in older adult. The stereotype surrounding elderly adult and how alcohol, and alcohol consumption is link to ageing. The exploration of this topic Unhealthy Living, Alcohol intake and Effect on Normative Aging will enable us understand better the effects of alcohol on health of older adult. This discourse will further, help us understand the myth, implication of drinking, and whether alcohol consumption causes ageing in older adults. Furthermore, the effects of alcohol in older adults as compares to younger adult will be investigated. Finding out how health impairment caused by alcohol can lead to anxiety, stress, and ultimately hospitalization will enable us look for ways to remedy elder adults from alcohol consumption. It is important to investigate, many other conflicting theories that claims, alcohol consumption impairs health, causes accident, and leads to Unhealthy Living, Alcohol intake and Effects on Norma-tic Aging.
To begin with, the controversy surrounding alcohol and its link to ageing can be understood by defining health. In a nutshell, Health is the total lack of disease, complete mental, physical, spiritual and social well-being of an individual (Pender, 1996). The absence of these factors, that defines health can cause ageing in older adult. The way people answer this question, what is health? Is predictive of illness and mortality (idler & Benyamini, 1997). Some other psychological reasons people respond to this question this way is because of people’s feeling about their health which may have a negative or positive impact on
health-related behavior. Secondly, it reflect ones low self-rate of health, and the belief that one’s health is getting worse. Thirdly, one’s self-rate of health effect behavior, and finally self-rate may reflect ones internal feeling (Wolinsky & Tierney, 1998). Unhealthy Lifestyle, Alcohol intake and Effects on Normative Aging.
Ageism is a stereotypes associated with the way some age groups are perceive which result in discrimination. What is more interesting about this topic is the sociocultural, psychological, and biological forces that classifies individual into age group, e.g. Norma-tic age graded influence which divides age groups chronologically, that is, legal and illegal drinking age.
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A study was carefully, and scientifically conducted to find how alcohol contributes to dementia and cognitive decline. Areas researched include (a) cognitive ability (b) individual differences (c) intergenerational influences and ecological and environmental issues. This research was focus on finding out the difference(s) between: cause and association, environmental exposure and outcome, level of ability and the changes overtime, and short time effect versus longtime. The study concluded that life course epidemiology is associated with many of this disease development over time. These findings helped to develop measure of reducing cognitive losses that occur in ageing and maximized the gains in early life (Kaarin, 2008).
The Magnetic resonance imaging studies suggest, the hippocampus is the part of the brain involve in memory and spatial navigation. 72% of high school student between the ages of 17 - 19 consume alcohol almost every day which could lead to alcoholism. These reports suggest that because of the earlier initiation of adolescents to drinking makes it difficult to give up drinking, and make these age group vulnerable to health and other psychological problems. In comparing, the study suggest that high rate of alcohol consumption could lead to the degeneration of some part of the brain in older adult such as the
frontal cortex, hinder development in cognitive and behavioral function, which could lead to elderly (Kelly, et al p. 29), Unhealthy Lifestyle, Alcohol intake and Effect on Normative Aging, can be reduced,
if older adult can stop alcohol consumption, the degeneration in adult health and other biological factors such gastric, increased nervous system in older adult, and irregular use of medication drug caused by age could be reduce . Alcohol is also linked to motorist accident and fatal accident. A research conducted in 2002 by (National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control 2005) indicates that motor vehicle clashes, suicide, and falls are the three major causes of accident resulting death in old adult. This study revealed that about 64% of fatal motor accidents leading to death are involved with older adult among the age of 65 years. This research was designed to find the link between high rate of adult accident resulting death, and alcohol consumption. The problem with this study is that, there are nonfatal falls involving adult that is not associated with alcohol drinking (life et al., 1991).
The National longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey (NLAES), and the NMFS provides demographic data of people that died or impaired because of alcohol consumption (Gary. et al 2009).Unhealthy life style, Alcohol intake and Effects on Normative Aging, in spite, of claims that alcohol consumption is unhealthy, study suggested that there is no empirical strong support linking alcohol drinking to major cause of vehicle accident involving death among older adults. In fact one report shows that only 4% of 71 fatal accident involving adult had a detectable Bac over 005g/100ml which is below drinking limit by law. Irrespective of the conflicting reports about the linkage of alcohol to illnesses in old adult, It will be advisable for older adult to limit or stop drinking alcohol hence there’s more support that adult cognitive abilities decreases with age. More-over older adult with serious mental issues caused by accident are more likely to be exposed to psychological problems such as stress, emotion, depression, anxiety, and other psychological problem which could lead to decline in aging, and potentially affect or limit the amount of physical exercise done by elderly adult (Center for Addiction and Mental Health 2005). The lack of exercise in elderly adult can cause illness, and lead to depression and poor cognitive health. Other reason(s) why is encouraging for older adult to stop drinking alcohol is the cost of long term care, which could range between $1480.99 to $2028.49 monthly, and inadequate care by health care providers and their staffs (National Center for Health Statistics). Unhealthy Lifestyle, Alcohol intake and Effects on Normative Aging is an issue the Government should look into, and find ways to regulate the issuance of driving license to Elderly adults. The reason is that older adult’s reaction time, and cognitive mental process declines with age. Another reason is the high rate of alcohol caused accident involving elder adult. Therefore, Government intervention to Unhealthy Lifestyle, Alcohol intake and effects on Normative Aging, and untimely dead in elder adult can be reduced or prevented.
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Judith, T. (2013, October 26). Alcohol: 'the modern woman's steroids. Toronto Star. pp. P9.
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