This post talks to a generation of senior citizens that drink too much.
In general, we are more educated about alcoholism and even through it is legal, drinking is very acceptable; especially in my state Nevada where casinos give away free drinks and are open around the clock.
Drinking in the senior circles still has a little glamor to it… the martinis after work, beer with the boys at the bar, and women do not consider “nice wine or champagne” alcohol.
Many of my peers are intelligent, physically fit men and women that I walk with, exercise with, swim with, and hike with… most do not drink, or drink on rare occasion.
A casual friend who I see at a gym is a good looking man close to 70. We have had short walks around the valley, but decided to take a long hike up to Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful spots in the world.
The hike was longer than we thought, but it was beautiful with full waterfalls, and meadows of wild flowers.
All was well until the way home.
My friend who is usually very kind and easy going starting swearving and swearing at cars on the windy one way road. He was not willing “to be the one to pull over!”
When we reached the main hi-way away from the resort, he insisted on “getting a beer” and did not want to wait for dinner.
He started to drink the beer in the car while driving.
I felt like I was with a crazed, angry teen ager and had to insist that he not drink and drive.
He was angry, stopped, finished his beer outside of the car, and then seemed to mellow out.
Don’t be fooled by age, education, and a casual friendship. At any age, you have to know how people handle alcohol. Listen to their stories and see if all social interactions start and end with alcohol.
Don’t find out the way I did!
I am not condemning this senior citizen.
I am sure he does not think of himself as an alcoholic, but the brain cannot function with long term consumption without it effecting the memory, kidneys, liver, balance, eyesight, and as I witnessed mood swings of agitation when his body was craving alcohol and he could not wait.
So your doctors, your grandmothers, your old neighbors can be the wonderful people that you have known and loved, but if they drink, do not let it affect you, your children, or the safety of others.
It is the right thing to do to tell a senior citizen or anyone that you will not get in a vehicle if they are drinking.
This is just a sad little warning, no hypnosis advice or amino therapy if someone does not want it.
It can be helpful if they do, but in the meantime, protect yourself.
Here is to your mental and physical health and “be careful when choosing your hiking partner!”