Figures have revealed an increase in the number of retired professional women experiencing drinking problems after stepping down from successful careers. This is mirroring a pattern normally seen in men.
Last month government figures revealed a 65% rise in the number of women over pension age starting treatment for alcohol-related issues in the last five years in England.
Experts at the Priory (a London rehabilitation centre) have pointed out that the full extent of the problem could be even higher as many may be hiding their drinking habits.
Dr Paul McLaren, consultant psychiatrist at the Priory said the increasing popularity of supermarket home delivery services was making it easier for drinkers to keep their habit hidden.
The number of older men receiving treatment for alcohol-related problems remains significantly higher than women, however the gap between the genders has halved in just five years.
Interestingly the findings echo data received from official lifestyle studies that show younger people leading the way when it comes to cutting their alcohol consumption as older people continue to ignore health warnings.
Dr McLaren said the following:
“Many of the women I see are retired professionals who never had issues with alcohol in the past.
“Then there is home delivery – I have seen many examples of alcohol being delivered to older people who are too damaged or impaired by it to go out and buy it themselves.”
He added that factors such as loneliness, bereavement and feeling useless after retiring can all increase a person’s desire to use alcohol in unhealthy ways.