Two trends can be observed in Finland. On the one hand there is a growing aging population: By 2060 every 4th person will be older than 65. On the other hand, there is a cultural change regarding alcohol consumption: Finns drink more and women in particular are increasingly consuming alcohol.
Research shows that 62% of the Finnish aging population uses alcohol and 8% of these abuse it. Excessive alcohol use in the elderly leads to loneliness, accidents, mixing with medication, binge drinking and using alcohol as self medication. This trend has an effect on the whole society, so that headlines like Alcohol now Finland's top killer can be found in the newspapers: Figures for 2005 released by the state statistics agency showed alcohol killed more people than cardiovascular disease or cancer. Almost as many women died of alcohol-related causes as breast cancer in the same year of the study in Finland.
From this it can be concluded that the elderly in particular must be protected and prevented from drinking alone at home.
The Finnish Blue Ribbon has created groups to train professionals and offer peer support, advice and information to the aging population. Help them!
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