Raise a glass to the New Year, but drink responsibly
WASHINGTON, DC, Dec 27 — There’s no toast like the ones we raise a glass to during the holidays but the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] suggests its members — and senior citizens in general — need to be careful not to overdo it.
Senior advocate and AMAC president Dan Weber notes that Americans increase their use of alcohol exponentially between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. “It’s bad enough when youngsters drink to excess, but it can have particularly critical effects on older folk.”
Studies have shown that Americans double their intake of alcohol during the holiday season, starting on what has been called “Blackout Wednesday,” the day before Thanksgiving Day and continuing through New Year’s Day. The publication, Beverage Daily, says that on average most of the year we consume about four drinks a week, but during those festive days from Blackout Wednesday to January 1 we can down eight drinks a week or more.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information [NCBI], “In addition to the psychosocial issues that are unique to older adults, aging also ushers in biomedical changes that influence the effects that alcohol and drugs have on the body. Alcohol abuse, for example, may accelerate the normal decline in physiological functioning that occurs with age. In addition, alcohol may elevate older adults’ already high risk for injury, illness, and socioeconomic decline.”
The NCBI also suggests that the older you are friends and family are likely to ignore excess drinking, so you can’t necessarily rely on them to keep track of your intake. “Therefore, it is up to you to drink responsibly, which means taking it easy as you pour and limiting your intake,” says Weber.
“Thus, in preparation for an impending holiday party, you should prepare yourself to be a ‘responsible’ drinker, one who plans ahead before heading out for a night of festivities.”
Weber offers a few tips when planning for an evening of “fun, food and frivolity” during the season:
-Pace yourself. Limit your drinking to a lightly poured cocktail an hour.
-You’ll consume less alcohol if you have a non-alcoholic drink between boozy drinks.
-Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
-Most important is to trust your own instincts by not letting a party pal determine that you “need” another drink.