Alcohol use and abuse in the frail, homebound elderly: a clinical analysis of 103 persons

Stephen J. Bercsi, Philip W. Brickner, Dhanonjoy C. Saha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We studied alcohol use and abuse in 103 frail, homebound elderly individuals cared for in a long-term home health care program from July 1991 to February 1992. Their average age was 80.63 years. Eighty-four percent were abstinent at the time of the study, including 25 (25%) past heavy drinkers. Two persons were current heavy drinkers and 14 continued to drink socially. Previous alcohol use or abuse was associated with a history of smoking, cardiovascular morbidity, social isolation, and anxiety or agitation. Current social drinking was associated with sedative-hypnotic use as well as smoking. Twenty-three of 25 past heavy drinkers remained sober on our programs without the use of formal alcohol treatment. Abstinence is known to increase with age, appears to be fostered by the homebound setting, is feasible for homebound elderly persons and is often accepted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • alcohol abuse
  • alcohol use
  • homebound elderly
  • risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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