It is common knowledge that alcoholism is a national problem. However, in regard to the elderly, society does not often think about how a response to poor health, bereavement, a change in social activities or loneliness may actually accelerate a drinking problem. Alcohol-related behaviors among the elderly are probably much more prominent than most people realize and have often been called the “hidden population.” For the most part, alcoholism is unreported, undiagnosed, and/or ignored. Part of the problem is getting healthcare professionals to accept that elderly alcoholics exist. According to a report by the American Medical Association, "They may deny that the patient has a drinking problem, or be reluctant to make a diagnosis, because they are uncertain about how to treat the disease or because they question whether treatment is likely to be successful with this age group," the report said.