Older adults and drinking: assessment and management


The focus of this course is older adults who are not likely to be identified as at risk because of alcohol.

Problem drinking is often considered a youth problem, but recent research has shown that a large proportion (up to 40%) of older adults in New Zealand can be categorised as hazardous drinkers. GPs and other primary care staff are in a good position to ask their older patients about their alcohol use and have a conversation about the risk of consuming alcohol.

After completing this course, you should know:

  • The factors that place older adults at increased risk should they consume alcohol.
  • How to assess older adults drinking using standardized screening tools.
  • The different treatment options for older adults who are identified as at increased risk from consuming alcohol (Hazardous use), and those who are consuming alcohol in a harmful/dependent way. 
  • The extent and nature of alcohol interactions with prescription medications.


Once you have completed this short course and quiz, please click 'submit' where you will be taken to the results page. From here you can print your certificate for 1 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hour.


This content was created by Dr David Newcombe PhD, and Dr Juma Rahman MBBS, MPH (University of Auckland), and Dr Andy Towers (Massey University) for the Goodfellow Unit (2019).  It was reviewed by Dr John McMenamin, General Practitioner, Whanganui Regional Health Network and Professor Janie Sheridan (School of Pharmacy, University of Auckland). 

The material is presented by the Goodfellow Unit (GFU), an accredited continuing medical education/ continuing professional development (CME/CPD) provider for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and functions under a tripartite agreement between the Goodfellow Foundation, the College and the University of Auckland. The Unit is located within the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, and within the School of Population Health.


Sign in to start this course.

Sign in Register

(If you are not already a Goodfellow member click the Register button. It takes less than a minute and is completely free)