Alcohol and Alzheimers?

frederickgt

Registered User
Jun 4, 2005
124
92
Hornchurch,Essex
Is there a connection between Alzheimers,or the medication,(Aricept).
The reason I ask is I took my wife out to lunch,and she had two glasses of red wine,shortly after leaving the pub,she lost the use of her legs,and mumbled incoherently,and kept falling down,she was in fact falling down drunk,and she banged her head.
Could it be that alcohol is poison to any Azlheimer's sufferer,or is it the Aricept?
I feel terrible myself,I am supposed to be looking after her.
and I have let her down,so be warned,responses please!
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi frederickgt

I always make the assumption that there is going to be a connection between alcohol and any medication.

Given that they each take liberties with the way the body works, there is almost bound to either be an interaction, or the one will over-rule the other, or render it ineffective. Sometimes the effects are not obviously harmful. Everything depends on - the alcohol concerned - the quantity - the strength - whether food lined the stomach already - the medication concerned - its strength - its possible side effects - the known interactions.

Safest not to drink alcohol, but sometimes one has to celebrate something, or at least try it.

My Mum loved Bailey's and insisted on drinking it with her many medications. This resulted in her having long conversations with her long dead mother, at the very least.
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
My Mom is on Aricept and has her daily happy hour with 3 -4 glasses of wine and then brandy before bedtime. I can see her deteriorate the minute she starts drinking but am helpless to make them change this habit. I don't know if the Aricept mixed with alcohol has an adverse effect, (I think she takes it in the mornings) but how could it not! At this point I figure they might as well do what they enjoy which is happy hour! Nothing is really going to change the outcome of this illlness at this point and I say, do what brings you joy, even if it isn't the healthiest of habits!
Debbie
 

Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
619
Ronda Spain
rummy said:
At this point I figure they might as well do what they enjoy which is happy hour! Nothing is really going to change the outcome of this illness at this point and I say, do what brings you joy, even if it isn't the healthiest of habits!
Debbie
I started to read this tread with a sinking heart - then came to your post Debbie and was relieved - Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die - or entirely loose our marbles - When you have a terminal illness you should grab every bit of pleasure you can and to hell with the consequences - what consequences??? What possible difference can it make - Nobody has the right to deny others their pleasures when the end is nigh! Almost biblical!

Michael
 

Lynne

Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
3,433
Suffolk,England
rummy said:
My Mom is on Aricept and has her daily happy hour with 3 -4 glasses of wine and then brandy before bedtime. I can see her deteriorate the minute she starts drinking but am helpless to make them change this habit. I don't know if the Aricept mixed with alcohol has an adverse effect, (I think she takes it in the mornings) but how could it not! At this point I figure they might as well do what they enjoy which is happy hour! Nothing is really going to change the outcome of this illlness at this point and I say, do what brings you joy, even if it isn't the healthiest of habits!
Debbie
Debbie, I have no 'qualifications' to back up this opinion, but just because your Mum's co-ordination or behaviour deteriorates after an alcoholic drink, that doesn't necessarily mean her overall (AD) condition is deteriorating faster than it would if she didn't have that drink. Maybe someone will correct me if I'm wrong on that one.
As regards the latter half of your post, I'm in full agreement with you - might as well go out with a smile on your face!! [So long as any possibility of them injuring themselves has been ruled out - sorry, I had thought that would be an unnecessary proviso, but obviously I was wrong.]
 
Last edited:

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Just to clarify, my reply to frederickgt's original message was mostly based on one thing he said:
she banged her head.
While we would all like to be happy, if alcohol [with or without medication] is most likely to cause injury, then my previous reply mostly covers what I think about that.

In other areas we say "if they are going to walk into a ditch we must grab them and pull them away because they are no longer able to make judgements." Where possible injury is concerned because of drinking any quantity at all of alcohol by someone with dementia, I would have expected the same duty of care.

...and as in all cases, it will always depend on the person concerned. If there is no problem, then of course it is better to have some relaxing moments because of alcohol, because other alternatives may no longer be possible.

As far as anything else alcohol-related is concerned, let's just pass the bottles around! ;)
 

zan

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
96
57
staffordshire
Afew years ago I worked in a respite care home on nights. One gentleman who regularly stayed with us, who had alzheimers, was usually up and down in the night, worried, anxious and grumpy. One Christmas, when we arrived on duty we noticed that he seemed to have had one or two Christmas drinks. What a change we saw in his character. He was singing happily, relaxed and it was the first time that we had seen him not worrying and anxious. It was lovely to see him like this. I always imagined that this happy person was the real person and the grumpy person was the effect of alzheimers, although I may be wrong. I would say that if someone with alzheimers likes a drink, drink in moderation, if their medication allows it, make sure that they stop before they get too unsteady and let them enjoy a break from the stresses their illness brings. Zan
 

frederickgt

Registered User
Jun 4, 2005
124
92
Hornchurch,Essex
Alcohol and Alzheimers

It happened like this we went to a pub for lunch and ordered two glasses of red win,the steak we ordered was like chw[ewing rubber,when I complained we were given a further two glasses of red wine,and a 50% rebate,upon getting home Anna was incoherent,she wasnt able to walk properly,she fell down twice because the seat she thought was there didnt exist,so she bumped her head and bruised her back,she had no knowledge of where she was,even in bed she still asked to go to bed,or be taken home.This lasted until late the next day,when fortunately she had no recollection of the previous days happenings.
But,as from now ,it is no more alcohol,it certainly didnt make her happy Connie ! I am afraid it is schloer,red or white from now on!
By the way,did anyone note today's news regarding aricept?
Keep up the good work folks.God bless1
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
Fortunately my folks make a point of being at home by happy hour every day. It is their routine and they will not change it. My Dad is also a chain smoker ( with half a lung !). The years they could have made changes in their habits and made a health impact are long gone. It is the only thing that really brings them joy these days. So I say smoke, drink and be merry. I think the only time I would intervene is if they were to drive impaired and risk hurting someone else. They are on their way out of this life, I think it is ok to let them chose how they want to live it.
Debbie
 

Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
619
Ronda Spain
Rummy hi,

My dad - long dead now - was an alcoholic, smoked like a chimney, put a few quid on the ponies - got married for the first time when he was 50 (my sister and I suspect a Spanish broad in the interim!) had his first child, me, at 52 - kept drinking, smoking till he was 90 when he had a few thrombosis - 'caught' senile dementia aka AD - ended up in a home goosing the young female staff and died at 97!

Not sure what that proves but he was a really nice man and the world is a lesser place without him - so .... like Lynne says - lets party!!!

love
Michael
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
Maybe it is a case of "a little of what you fancy does you good".
I certainly intend to let Lionel have 'quality' of life over 'quantity'
Connie
 

zan

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
96
57
staffordshire
I read somewhere that drinking red wine can help prevent A.D. Don't know if it's true but I'm willing to be part of a trial to test its success. Zan
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Hi All,

I tend to agree with Bruce that alcohol and drugs are probably not the best combination.

My father takes Aricept and my mother Ebixa. Neither of them have been much into alcohol beyond a sherry on Sunday. Since they both started their medication, even such a little amount of alcohol made them either fall asleep or go over the top. My father became quite aggro afterwards on several occasions so I bought them non-alcoholic wine in the end so they didn't feel that they were missing out on a treat.

I guess it comes down to personal tolerance levels really.

Jude
 

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