Information for older people about drinking alcohol

As we get older, there are things we need to know about alcohol and our health.

We become more sensitive to alcohol’s effects as we age.

Some medicines can interact with alcohol. Alcohol can make medicines stronger or weaker, or make their side-effects worse.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause health problems. Alcohol can also make existing health problems, such as diabetes and mental health problems, worse.

Many people need to cut down how much alcohol they are drinking when they get older. Others need to stop drinking altogether.

It is never too late to change our drinking habits.

Health services, friends and family can help. 

HPA has produced a booklet for older people and their families, friends and carers. It covers most of the information provided in this section including: 

  • how our bodies become less able to cope with alcohol as we age
  • how alcohol affects certain medicines and health conditions
  • how much alcohol is too much when you’re older
  • what older people can do if they think they have a drinking problem.

Download the PDF [PDF, 783KB]

Order hard copies of the Alcohol and older people booklet