It is well established that children of problem drinkers have an increased risk of developing mental health problems, not only during childhood but also when they grow up into adolescents and adults. However, it has not been examined whether this risk is also present during the old age of these children. In this study, we examine the question whether this increased risk is present in inhabitants of eleven residential homes (mean age 85 years). A total of 355 residents indicated whether one of their parents ever had problems with alcohol. We also used the MINI diagnostic interview to assess the presence of mental disorders. We found that parental problem drinking was significantly associated with having a major depression (current and lifetime), and with the number of drinks in the past week. No significant relationship was found with alcohol-related disorders and anxiety disorders. It was already known that parental problem drinking results in mental health problems in children. We found clear indications that these problems do not disappear when these children grow old. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.