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Study: Majority of assisted living residents are believed to drink alcohol

February 9, 2012
by Kevin Kolus
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Pennsylvania’s elders might have a drinking problem, according to a new study by the University of Pittsburgh published in Research on Aging.

An analysis of data included in the Pennsylvania nurse aide registry found 832 assisted living nurse aides reported that they believe 69 percent of their residents drink alcohol.

Of those residents, 34 percent are thought to drink alcohol daily. Estimated prevalence rates show that in 19 percent of the cases, nurse aides believed alcohol consumption had influenced residents’ health, while 28 percent are suspected to have made poor choices for alcohol consumption.

The findings present preliminary evidence that alcohol misuse and abuse may be a problem of importance in assisted living facilities, researchers said. Given the potential impact of this on the health, safety and quality of life for elders, more attention should be focused on alcohol misuse and abuse by assisted living residents, the researchers concluded.

The nurse aides being cited in the study include people who at some point in their careers had worked for an assisted living facility.

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Drinking in Assisted Living

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