John Libbey Eurotext

Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement


Alcoholic abstinence in elderly subjects with misuse of alcohol Volume 14, issue 2, Juin 2016

1 Unité d’addictologie - Consultation mémoire, Hôpital des Chanaux, Mâcon, France ; Institut de psychologie, Laboratoire SIS (EAM 4128), Université Lumière Lyon 2, France
2 Centre de gériatrie, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière (AP-HP), Paris, France ; DHU FAST, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) et UMR8256 (CNRS), Team Neuronal Cell Biology & Pathology, Paris, France
3 Institut de psychologie, Psychologie de la santé et du vieillissement, Université Lyon 2, France
4 Institut de psychologie, Université Lyon 2, France
* Tirés à part

Alcohol use disorder does not disappear with aging, neither the associated induced-suffering. While the prevalence of alcohol use disorder still remains around 10% in the subjects over 65 year old age, and daily encountered by hospital or nursing-home caregivers. Alcohol misuse is often overlooked in elderly people, which then obtain lesser care than younger adults although the care prognosis remains as good as or better than before the age of 65, alcoholic abstinence gets always a place among care offers to elders suffering of alcohol use disorders and dependence. However abstinence is a complex notion gathering various representations or meanings, and induces necessary psychological changes. Alcoholic abstinence seems thus to be feared by families or caregivers, because of lack of knowledge about the addictive dimension of the disorder. On behalf of ultimate freedom, and allowing a last pleasure, alcohol use disorders and its associated suffering can be neglected because abstinence is considered as aggressive and harmful. However, modalities of reduction of alcohol consumption as well as access control or regulated supply of alcoholic beverages, keep having a place in graduate care offers. Beyond the choice of decreasing or suppress drinking alcohol beverages, which only are terms or conditions of improvement, the main point remains the improvement of well-fare, quality of life and elders’ health.