Alcohol And Seniors


Seasonal and Year Round Tips


Decided to give up drinking or to cut down?  Are you worried that the holiday season might be a challenge.  The decision whether to let others know you are changing your lifestyle is up to you.


Some Suggestions on Things to Say

Some older adults  have no difficulty letting others know they don't drink any more.  Because, drinking is a common social behavior in many communities, other older adults  find it very hard. Here are some of the ways that some have found work to gracefully turn down an offer of an alcoholic drink from family or friends, restaurant staff, or work staff:


"No, thanks. Do you have a soda water (tea, or whatever your preferred beverage is) instead?"

"No thanks,  it doesn't agree with my medications. "

"No thanks. Doctor's orders."

"No thanks. I'm on medications."

"No thanks, alcohol doesn't agree with me."


Others simply state "No thanks, I've given up drinking."  Some of those who rely on an A.A. approach state "I'm an alcoholic, "  or "No thanks, I'm allergic to alcohol."

A person of any age should never feel pressured to drink.


A Word to Hosts and Others

Seniors (and for that matter people of any age) who have decided to give up drinking or to cut down say that social get- togethers can sometimes be difficult for them. They note

The best advice for hosts and others, is simply to treat the person as a  person. Give them the same respect you would any adult. If you have seen positive changes in the person since you last saw them (possibly because they cut down  or have stopped drinking), let them know.

Season Tips

The Responsible Host :

This information sheet offers tips on being  a responsible host  at parties, with suggestions such as serving high protein foods, measuring drinks, and not forcing drinks on your guests. Includes recipes for drinks without alcohol.

"Everyone likes to share good news and good times with friends. But when an occasion calls for a party, it also calls for a responsible host. In planning your party, you could consider having a party where no alcohol is served; if you do decide to serve alcohol, here are a few tips to ensure guests have a good time and get home safely."


AADAC also has an info sheet on "Being a Good Host",

--in planning the party, for example  "Being a good host means providing something for everyone, not just those who want to drink alcohol. If you’re serving punch, provide two choices - one with alcohol and one without alcohol - and label them

- during the party, and after the party ends.



A third AADAC info sheet in the series is called: Decisions About Drinking. See:


The Liquor Control Board of Ontario carries a  "Top 10 Tips for Responsible Hosting" . See:


To help make celebrations both enjoyable and safe this holiday season, a number of Canadian liquor boards are offering consumers,  "HOST: guide for responsible entertaining," a new booklet offering entertaining solutions, useful party planning information and valuable tips for responsible hosting.


Note:  These publications tend to disappear by the first week of December.

Other Responsible Hosts Sites Include:

MADD  (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) offers tips, plus "Sure to Please Alcohol Free Drink  Recipes"




This Page was last updated Sunday October 31, 2004

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