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Background: While alcohol misuse is largely a problem reported in younger populations, recent studies have shown that it may be a significant, under-reported and under-diagnosed problem in the senior population. Alcohol misuse in this population is further confounded by its association with serious co-morbidities including falls, confusion, and reactions with medications. These problems can be difficult to identify in the aging population, as they may be mistaken for dementia, depression, or other illnesses. Even less studied than alcohol use patterns in the general elderly population are the prevalence and patterns of alcohol use in senior care facilities. In Chittenden County, Vermont, these facilities appear to vary widely in how they identify and assist residents with alcohol misuse issues. Understanding their policies will be an important step towards developing effective strategies for reducing alcohol misuse among residents. The importance of understanding and identifying alcohol-related problems in the elderly is critical as the aging population in this country continues to grow. Proper intervention has the potential to have a real impact; studies have shown that older people have a greater ability to adhere to treatment plans than those in younger age groups, which may contribute to treatment success


Wendy Carty, Starr Farm Nursing Center

Thomas Delaney, PhD, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Colleen McLaughlin, Starr Farm Nursing Center

Robert Karp, MD, CMD, University of Vermont College of Medicine


Starr Farm Nursing Center


Substance Abuse


Presented at 138th APHA Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 9, 2010 as "Alcohol Misuse in Elderly Care Facilities in Chittenden County, Vermont," by Francisco Corbalan, Marth Choate, Frankisk Mei, Jessie Kerr, Semeret Munie, Jonathan Nucum, Thomas Pace, Wendy Carty, Colleen McLaughlin, Robert Karp, MD and Jan K. Carney, MD MPH.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Alcohol Misuse in Elderly Care Facilities