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Binge Drinking and Adults 65+

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently put out a report on binge drinking. Noted in the report is that the age group that binge drinks the most often is the 65+ age group.

This should cause us to stop and consider a couple of things:

1. Millions of older adults are hurting. Some are lonely, some are grieving, others are searching for meaning and purpose in life and they are relying on a variety of things (some harmful) to fill up the emptiness in their lives. It is yet one more reason why we cannot ignore the importance of intentional and purposeful ministry with older adults. Ministry that leads people to Christ and disciples these individuals and helps them find areas to grow and serve. While social interaction and fellowship is an important component to helping these individuals, an older adult ministry must be built on more than simply a monthly social gathering. There have to be opportunities where we can truly respond to the deeper needs of people.

2. It is a stereotype that drinking is only a problem for the young. There are so many stereotypes about older adults that cause us to be ineffective at ministering to their real needs. Let’s not close our eyes to the issues and struggles that face those of all age groups.

Have any of you come across this issue among the older adults you serve? How are you responding?

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