One of my big fears after caring for my parents is that should I lose my short-term memory, I will also lose the ability to know that I have had more than one, or even two drinks.
I have yet to see alcohol on any healthy diet without an asterisk next to it. I’m always intrigued to read interviews with octogenarians (and older) to learn what they chalk up to their healthy aging habits. I swear that a snifter of whiskey or brandy has been in the largest majority of those I have read.
What I do know is that the habit of “quiet hour” honed over 5 decades of marriage became a problem for my parents when they lost their short-term memory. Instead of stopping at one or two drinks, they started to drink more. It was one of the most obvious signs to their adult children that something was different with our parents.
During this period we learned that there is a form of dementia that is a result of alcohol abuse. Drinking and drug use is proven to kill brain cells faster than aging alone. You can learn more about these impacts on this page at the American Addiction Center.
At first we thought my Dad’s quietness and forgetfulness were because of the increased drinking. We later learned that he had Alzheimer’s. Had there been no habit of drinking, we may have gotten to an answer sooner.
During this time, I was able to encourage my parents to purchase Umbrella insurance. I was terrified that their actions could hurt someone and they could lose all of their savings.
If you have a study that shows that alcohol does lead to healthy aging … please share! My belief is that like many things, moderation is the key. My goal is to age without a habit of drinking alcohol. Aspired.