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Dad with Alzheimer's drinking excessive alcohol

ShellyS

New member
Mar 31, 2019
2
0
Hi I am a new member to the forum and looking for any help/advice concerning my dad of 83.
I have for the past 3 years had to deal with my mum who has dementia and lives in a care home. Back in January my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Dad's condition has deteriorated quite rapidly. His memory is terrible, not eating properly and unfortunately drinking alcohol every day. He has extremely poor cognition and in the past 15 months has had a number of falls which have seen him hospitalized on several occasions with multiple injuries. Each fall sadly has been as a result of his excessive drinking. He does not accept that his drinking is a danger. We have asked the club where he drinks to only serve him 2 drinks but this isn't working. He is not eating properly which is adding to the problem. He is spending large sums of money each week and again refuses to accept the dangers of his actions. I am concerned for his safety as he frequently withdrawers large sums of money from cash machines. We have spoken to our local dementia support team, who have spoken about the dangers to my dad but unfortunately he chooses to ignore their advice. We are desperately trying to allow him to continue to live independently. We have a carer going in twice a day, we do our upmost to try and get him to eat but this is a constant battle. Sadly the alcohol isn't a new problem. Mum and dad's social life always revolved around their local social club. As the Alzheimer's progresses trying to explain the consequences to my dad become more challenging. In an attempt to try and manage the situation I took my dad's bank cards off him. I hoped that I could try and get him to agree to me getting money out for him and basically giving him just enough money to buy a couple of drinks each evening. My dad became extremely angry and aggressive. I have given him the cards back. Sadly I feel that I am now waiting for the next crisis. We have discussed care homes with him, having a live-in carer both of which he has refused. At this moment in time dad is deemed to still have some mental capacity so I therefore know from experience with my mum that even if we got him into a care home they would struggle to deal with the fact that he would still want to drink each day. I just seem to have run out of ideas as to how to cope with him. If anyone has any ideas I would gladly welcome them. Thanks
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,663
0
N Ireland
Hello @ShellyS, you are welcome here and I hope you find the forum to be a friendly and supportive place.

Alcohol is a common issue and one thing I can tell you from personal experience is that you cannot reason with your loved one and, even if they seem to take what you say on board, they will usually forget anything that is agreed. With most members the issue is drinking at home so things like low alcohol substitutes or watered spirits are used but this isn't available to you. However, I hope some people with relevant experience will be along to advise in due course. Sometimes it is a matter of having to wait for a crisis, which is unfortunate.

In the meantime, I hope you have time to take a good look around the site as it is a goldmine for information. When I first joined I read old threads for information but then found the AS Publications list and the page where a post code search can be done to check for support services in ones own area. If you are interested in these, clicking the following links will take you there

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

You will see that there are Factsheets that will help with things like getting care needs assessments, deciding the level of care required and sorting out useful things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc., if any of that hasn't already been done.

Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,618
0
Yorkshire
hello @ShellyS
a warm welcome to TP
sadly you may be right about waiting for a crisis - unfortunately if your dad is deemed to have capacity it's hard for Social Services or you to make him do anything he doesn't want to - and, of course, given his diagnosis he is unlikely to be able to grasp that he isn't taking care of himself and how the drink affects him, his brain just isn't working as it used to so reasoning with him will have no effect and may just make him angry and even less co-operative
would the staff at the club agree to serving him low or non-alcoholic alternatives, though I appreciate it's a lot to ask them to go against his wishes
could they maybe call him a taxi to get him home safely, again easier said than done

personally, I'd look into increasing his care package without discussing it with him so someone makes him a meal (microwave ready meals are quick and pretty good) and then sits with him as he eats - and leave plenty of treats around so he can graze if he wishes, better 'junk' than nothing

keep Social Services and his GP up to date with anything that concerns you, maybe if you 'squeak' often enough they may be more willing to consider full time care rather than discharging him home after the next hospital admission

maybe something on these pages from the main AS site will have something helpful
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/search?keywords=alcohol&Search=
 

fen girl

New member
May 13, 2019
1
0
Hi, My mother also started to drink loads due to her dementia - and that made her appetite go. She was facing a care home as it was too dangerous to stay at home and she was abusive to her carers. It might be too soon for your dad (he might realise!) but we recently started to decant alcohol free whisky into real bottles, same for wine. Sometimes i mix it with some real stuff. You can buy it online, and I can't stress how much it's helped. It's like seeing her 3 years ago - and she's even eating again now.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
9,618
0
Yorkshire
hello @fen girl and welcome
glad you found the replacements worked - I noticed that my dad didn't seem to taste the difference between red wine and grape juice, so we enjoyed the juice without the alcohol
now you've found us, keep posting
 

Flowella

New member
Aug 12, 2020
2
0
Hello well I now find myself in the exact same position . In fact I write this as I sit mulling over the drunken phone call I’ve just had from my dad at 6:20am , he had no idea of the time and was extremely drunk ! As the other member said we have had falls , hospital admissions , lots of phone calls all of which are to tell us something that’s not really happening ! He’s forgetting to take tablets, not eating right , forgetting if he’s fed the dog , I’m at my wits end , luckily I’m off work at the mo to cope with it but when I go back , god knows what’s going to happen . He is in complete denial that he drinks , he will hide the bottles etc . I have contacted social services lots but they are not interested unless he needs getting up , dressing etc so I’m contemplating homecare but he can’t afford it , he’s got no money . Like the other member said he still has capacity at the moment so it is just waiting for crisis after crisis but that is becoming more and more frequent . Dad is 74 . Any advice ?!
 

Flowella

New member
Aug 12, 2020
2
0
Hello well I now find myself in the exact same position . In fact I write this as I sit mulling over the drunken phone call I’ve just had from my dad at 6:20am , he had no idea of the time and was extremely drunk ! As the other member said we have had falls , hospital admissions , lots of phone calls all of which are to tell us something that’s not really happening ! He’s forgetting to take tablets, not eating right , forgetting if he’s fed the dog , I’m at my wits end , luckily I’m off work at the mo to cope with it but when I go back , god knows what’s going to happen . He is in complete denial that he drinks , he will hide the bottles etc . I have contacted social services lots but they are not interested unless he needs getting up , dressing etc so I’m contemplating homecare but he can’t afford it , he’s got no money . Like the other member said he still has capacity at the moment so it is just waiting for crisis after crisis but that is becoming more and more frequent . Dad is 74 . Any advice ?!