Alternatives to Alcohol for SeniorsSeptember 21, 2023
Over the years, we find select cocktails, beers, or wines that become absolute favorites. While it is all right to have a drink every now and again, as you age, drinking alcohol isn’t as simple as it once was. Health complications, adverse interactions with prescription medications, and a heightened chance of alcohol-related accidents make drinking a risk for older adults.
If it’s time for you to cut down on your alcohol intake, you don’t have to feel like you are missing out. These days, there are plenty of delicious alternatives to alcohol for seniors to enjoy.
Tips for reducing alcohol intake
A few signs that you may drink more often than you should include experiencing cravings, often having more drinks than you intended, it worsens your mental health, and you’ve experienced a strain on your relationships. If you realize you are experiencing any of these complications, it may be time to pull back.
Whether you are reducing your alcohol intake for health reasons, it is a noble cause. Even if you don’t drink heavily, cutting alcohol out of your life can be quite a challenge. Use these tips to reduce your alcohol intake.
- Know your triggers. Have you noticed that you drink more when you are stressed or tired? If that is the case, try to replace the habit with something else.
- Have alcohol-free days. Instead of having a drink every night after dinner, limit your drinking to weekend nights. You will start to feel less cravings over time.
- Keep alcohol out of the house. You are far more likely to indulge in a drink if it’s easily accessible. So, when you run out of alcohol, don’t replace it.
- Have social support. Let your friends and family know that you are cutting back on your drinking. That way, they know not to offer you anything to drink.
- Always eat enough and drink water when you do drink. On the occasions that you do allow yourself a special treat, make sure you are taking care of yourself. If you don’t eat and drink water before (and while!) you enjoy alcoholic beverages, you are more likely to have more.
If you believe you’ve developed a reliance on alcohol, reach out to help from a professional. There are plenty of local and online programs that can help you overcome your drinking habit.
What are some alternatives to alcohol for seniors?
Even just a few decades ago, the alternatives to alcohol were slim. Water is obviously a great choice, but on special occasions, it’s natural to want something more. Thankfully, there is a wide variety of options for those who are cutting back on, or removing, alcohol from their diets.
In recent years, the non-alcoholic spirit industry has rapidly grown. In the United States alone, there are nearly 4,000 companies currently releasing non-alcoholic beverages. Even well-known beer, wine, and spirit companies are releasing non-alcoholic alternatives to their existing products.
Some of these beverages are designed to emulate the flavor of certain spirits, while others develop their own unique flavor profiles for consumers to enjoy. This gives consumers the fun of exploring a new drink, or perhaps recreating their favorite flavors, without having to worry about the impacts.
- Heineken Non-Alcoholic 0.0. As one of the most popular beer brands in the United States, it’s no wonder they have developed an alcohol-free option for their classic lager. Some drinkers claim they can’t even taste the difference between the two.
- Brooklyn Brewery Special Effects Hoppy Amber. Craft beers have burst in popularity over the past decade, and you don’t have to give them up. Brooklyn Brewery’s Special Effects has a special fermentation method that allows them to maintain delicious flavor without alcohol.
- Athletic Brewing Company Run Wild Non-Alcoholic IPA. Athletic Brewing Company is an organization purely dedicated to creating delicious non-alcoholic beers. One of their most popular options is this IPA.
- Freixenet Sparkling Alcohol-Removed Wine. Sparkling wine is great to bring on a picnic or enjoy in celebration of achievement—and this brand is a fantastic option. Drinkers say this wine is crisp and fruity with the right amount of sweetness.
- Fre White Zinfandel. A problem many individuals have with non-alcoholic wine is that it is too sweet. Fre White Zinfandel, however, is praised for its refreshing flavors and balance.
- Proxies Red Clay. Red wine is a little more difficult to translate into a non-alcoholic format, but Proxies has figured it out. While they don’t claim to be an exact replacement for certain types of wine, they are inspired by the flavor components of traditional options. Red Clay is said to be medium-bodied and tart—a great alternative for Pinot Noir.
- Lyre’s. This non-alcoholic beverage brand creates the flavors of your favorite cocktails in a sparkling beverage. Options include G&T, Amalifi Sptriz, and Classico. If you’d rather make your own mocktails, they offer alcohol-free alternatives to some of the most popular spirits.
- Monday Zero-Alcohol Gin. Make all your favorite gin-based drinks without losing that piney, floral flavor the spirit is best known for. Reviewers praise the drink as the perfect alternative to gin, allowing them to enjoy gin and tonics and French 75s with no worries.
- Ritual Rum Alternative. Rum is a quintessential ingredient to a variety of tropical drinks as well as ones enjoyed around the holiday. One feature many enjoy about the non-alcoholic spirit is how it achieves a “burn” similar to what one experiences with their favorite drinks.
Carbonated beverages or juice
When all else fails, it’s fairly easy to find carbonated beverages or juice no matter where you are. Most restaurants will offer a variety of beverages to choose from. If you’re attending a party, it is likely there will be a few options.
Of course, the problem that arises with carbonated beverages and juice for many seniors is the high sugar content. There are “diet” alternatives for many beverages, but that opens another can of worms. There are conflicting opinions about whether or not “diet” drinks are actually any better for you, what with the amount of chemicals necessary to achieve the desired flavor with few calories. If you have concerns either way, you can always discuss your options with your doctor.
Creating a healthy lifestyle with at-home caregivers
As you age, living a healthy lifestyle may not be quite as simple as it once was. You may lack the motivation, or even the capability, to maintain your exercise regimen or prepare healthy meals. If that is the case, allow an at-home caregiver to provide you with the support you need.
At Home Care Powered by AUAF, our caregivers are trained to assist you with any and all activities of daily living, including running errands and meal preparations. Your caregiver can create a meal plan, pick up groceries, fill prescriptions, go on walks with you, and do whatever else you need to live a happy, healthy life at home.
If you think you could benefit from the support of an at-home caregiver, give us a call at 773-274-9262. We would be happy to help.
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