Alcoholism of the Elderly in the Bronx
As the social problems increase in their diversity and occurrence, a significant percentage of the population are resorting to various measures in a bid to cope with the respective problems. Alcoholism is one of the practices that populations of all ages are assuming in order to cope with the wide ranging social problems. Although this is not sustainable, it provides a temporary escape to the daily challenges that the affected populations grapple with. This practice has had diverse impacts on the holistic wellbeing of the individuals as well as the society. Alcoholism among the elderly is a social problem that is increasingly gaining prominence in Bronx. This can be attributed to the various social problems that the population in this region faces. It is against this background that this paper provides an in depth analysis of alcoholism amongst the elderly in Bronx. In detail, it evaluates the effects of the practice, statistics, prevalence and reasons for occurrence.
Statistical evidence indicates that a significant 17% of the elderly in Bronx and faced with the problem of alcoholism (Gary, Efremova, Army and Saba 228). Hospital statistics indicate that 21% of the older adults in hospitals suffer from drug related health problems. These comprise of both the hardy survivors and the late onset groups. With regards to gender, both the male and females suffer from alcoholism equally. This practice has been triggered by various factors that are social, economic, medical and cultural in nature.
On of the common causes of this problem in Bronx pertains to the low social and economic status of the population residing in the region. Lack of sufficient resources to cater for all the needs of a family makes an individual to be stressed up This culminates in incidences of stress and depression that drive an individual to alcoholism. According to Lowinson, Ruiz, Millman and Langrod, alcoholism amongst the elderly in Bronx is also caused by the inability to cope effectively with changes in life such as retirement and the relative reduction in income (77).
The challenges that the respective populations face make it difficult for them to effectively maintain healthy lifestyles. It is for this reason that they often resort to alcoholism to enable them cope accordingly.Alcoholism amongst this segment of the population in Bronx is also triggered by familial conflicts and impairment of sleep. In most instances, relative problems stem from incidences of low income and health complications. In order to cope with the problems, the elderly individuals resort to use and abuse of alcohol. As aforementioned, alcoholism has adverse effects on the holistic wellbeing of the elderly population that is affected by the problem.
To begin with, it affects the functioning of the liver, heart and nervous system. This is particularly so because the immunity of the affected population is usually low. Then, Hanson, Venturelli and Fleckenstein argue that it culminates in forgetfulness and confusion that undermine effective functioning of the individuals (54). Then, a significant percentage of the elderly individuals usually suffer from terminal diseases such as diabetes, cardiac diseases and so forth. For this reason, they are more likely to be on drugs for most of their time. Alcoholism in this regard leads to mixing of drugs that threatens the health of the affected individuals. From a medical point of view, it is widely agreed that mixing of drugs with alcohol is dangerous and can be fatal.
Gary Kennedy, Efremova Irina, Army Frazier and Saba Abdo. The Emerging problems of Alcohol and Substance Abuse in late life. Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, 8.4 (1999): 227-239. Print.
Hanson Glen, Venturelli Peter and Fleckenstein Annette. Drugs and Society. USA: Jones & Barlett Publishing, 2005. Print.
Lowinson Joyce, Ruiz Petro, Millman, Robert and Langrod, John. Substance abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook. USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004. Print.