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Having a drink.....

Cariad 42

Registered User
Dec 18, 2018
12
My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last spring and life has been ok with some adjustments.
More recently I am seeing a number of changes, one of which is alcohol tolerance. My hubby has always enjoyed a drink (or three) but now it seems he gets "drunk" much more quickly. I have gently mentioned it to him and he acknowledges it - but then does nothing about it(the next time). His behaviour can be difficult to manage and I find it stressful and upsetting. I am also concerned that he is causing himself avoidable damage. Any advice would be welcomed.
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,457
Just to say welcome to you and glad life has been OK on the whole! He probably won't remember you telling him about it when he comes to drink again, so it's a matter of vigilance like so much of our lives, sweetheart.
with warmest wishes, Geraldine
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
62,302
69
Dundee
Hi @Cariad 42 and welcome to the forum.

Would it be possible to replace drink in the house with low/no alcohol versions of beer or wine?
 

Cariad 42

Registered User
Dec 18, 2018
12
Thank you, I will definitely try that and hope he doesn't notice.
As for when we go out, I'm pretty sure he won't go for low/no alcohol drinks.
I guess I've always had concerns about his drinking, not in an alcoholic way, just that every week he drinks more than what is "sensible".
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,556
N Ireland
Hello @Cariad 42, welcome from me too.

I have the same issue with my wife and struggle to cope with her when she takes too much to drink.

I have tried all the tricks mentioned on the forum and find they all work for a while. One that worked well was replacing beer with weak shandy. At the moment I’m using alternate rounds of water and beer to good effect.

It’s a constant struggle but you will get support here.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,027
Newcastle
I have more or less given up on alcohol. Going to the pub is not relaxing as my wife will down a glass of wine in 2 gulps, almost before I have started my pint, then sit very impatiently until I'm finished. We don't have restaurant outings these days. The bottle of wine on a Sunday evening at home stopped over a year ago and my wife has never mentioned it. I had a few drinks when she was in respite but was happy to give up again once she was back. It is hard when social life often seems dependent upon alcohol - especially at Christmas - but avoidance has the benefit of not making my wife's confabulations and temper worse.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,556
N Ireland
BTW @Cariad 42, now that you have found us I hope you do 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.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
505
We try to reduce my mums alcohol as she can gat rather arguementative after a few glasses of wine. She can tell the difference between non or low alcoholic ones to her usual full strength favourites but we now use soda water in White wine and tell her she is drinking Prosecco ! Red wine we dilute with a fruit based juice but she is not so keen on it. We also make sure she is given plenty of cups of tea as she never drinks water if thirsty which is when she can have too much wine.

This is easy to do at home, when we go out for pub meals, I try to persuade her to have half a pint of bitter rather than a large glass of wine. As I do not drink as I am driving, luckily she tends to drink less anyway.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,699
80
East of England
I have posted a lot about this problem of alcohol tolerance, inability to understand and control it. I have now got into a position where we have only one bottle of any sort of alcohol in the house and that has a locking cap to prevent secret drinking. We have plenty of non alcoholic drinks in the house and when we go to the pub the amount of alcohol is limited to one pint or one medium glass of wine. It’s difficult and it took me quite a few months to reach this point. The pub landlady is aware and on side to telephone me if he goes there alone although in the dark cold winter months he is not going out. I have to be very vigilant and firm to protect him from the consequences of his own actions which he can’t understand. Nor was he a very heavy drinker maybe 3 glasses a night, two thirds of a bottle, except on special occasions when he would drink more. He can’t tolerate that now but cannot understand why he can’t.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,699
80
East of England
My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last spring and life has been ok with some adjustments.
More recently I am seeing a number of changes, one of which is alcohol tolerance. My hubby has always enjoyed a drink (or three) but now it seems he gets "drunk" much more quickly. I have gently mentioned it to him and he acknowledges it - but then does nothing about it(the next time). His behaviour can be difficult to manage and I find it stressful and upsetting. I am also concerned that he is causing himself avoidable damage. Any advice would be welcomed.
My husband is exactly the same as yours and I have described my experience in a separate post. My husband has no insight whatsoever.
 

Cariad 42

Registered User
Dec 18, 2018
12
Thank you everyone for the practical tips and encouragement.
I can see that different tactics are required at home compared to the pub, which is different to going out for a meal. I need to be more vigilant, and separating it this way breaks the problem into manageable chunks.
I will settle down and have a look at the information across this site when I have a few moments. In the meantime my Christmas booze shop will be different this year.
 

Agzy

Registered User
Nov 16, 2016
1,438
Moreton, Wirral. UK.
My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last spring and life has been ok with some adjustments.
More recently I am seeing a number of changes, one of which is alcohol tolerance. My hubby has always enjoyed a drink (or three) but now it seems he gets "drunk" much more quickly. I have gently mentioned it to him and he acknowledges it - but then does nothing about it(the next time). His behaviour can be difficult to manage and I find it stressful and upsetting. I am also concerned that he is causing himself avoidable damage. Any advice would be welcomed.
Depending on his tipple there are a number of alcohol free options and mixing it with the ‘real’ stuff might help.
 

maryjoan

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
1,420
South of the Border
Couple of things in these posts I would like to ask about
Confabulations - what are those?
Is Alcohol intolerance common in dementia - does if affect PWD more? All my GP said was that OH is 'life limited' anyway, and let him enjoy a drink if he wants to ....
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,699
80
East of England
Couple of things in these posts I would like to ask about
Confabulations - what are those?
Is Alcohol intolerance common in dementia - does if affect PWD more? All my GP said was that OH is 'life limited' anyway, and let him enjoy a drink if he wants to ....
“A drink” is the point, but my husband would keep on drinking because he couldn’t remember what he had had, and he had several episodes of too much alcohol and collapsed back in February when he was on his own and ended up in hospital since when he has deteriorated rapidly. So I know that he can have one drink and then have non alcoholic drinks. He was having two on holiday but it didn’t leave him in a very good state. I think that Alzheimer’s disease makes the body less tolerant. Everybody is different and in his case I know that I have to help him to limit it.
 

maryjoan

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
1,420
South of the Border
“A drink” is the point, but my husband would keep on drinking because he couldn’t remember what he had had, and he had several episodes of too much alcohol and collapsed back in February when he was on his own and ended up in hospital since when he has deteriorated rapidly. So I know that he can have one drink and then have non alcoholic drinks. He was having two on holiday but it didn’t leave him in a very good state. I think that Alzheimer’s disease makes the body less tolerant. Everybody is different and in his case I know that I have to help him to limit it.[/QUO
My OH had first signs of dementia some 4 or 5 years ago, and steadily increased his alcohol consumption into a set pattern - ie 2 beers before a meal, 1 bottle of wine during a meal, then half to one bottle of whisky late evening. It seemed to be set in stone with him. The amount of alcohol has not only affected his brain ( mixed dementia) but literally rotted his gut and now he has a stoma and bag.
When the GP suggested he cut down on alcohol - he simply gave up there and then, so he was not alcoholic - he simply stopped - with devastating withdrawal problems. It is only recently that he has started drinking again because his befuddled brain cannot remember any of the above.... but he was swapped his late night whisky habit for 5 mugs of Horlicks - again habit......
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,556
N Ireland
Couple of things in these posts I would like to ask about
Confabulations - what are those?
Is Alcohol intolerance common in dementia - does if affect PWD more? All my GP said was that OH is 'life limited' anyway, and let him enjoy a drink if he wants to ....
I've just noticed this post Maryjoan.
A confabulation is something that comes from impaired memory or understanding. It's where facts are missing or misinterpreted and the person fabricates their own tale when recalling the event as their brain fills any gaps so that it makes sense to themselves. In that way it's a distorted reality so is different to something like an hallucination.

On the subject of alcohol, my wife's tolerance is now reduced and I would surmise that it's due to both loss of brain substance/function and the medication she is on.

Whilst I agree with the attitude of the GP I try to regulate the number of times when my wife drinks too much as it's when she gets too drunk that she is hardest to manage. A couple of times it's nearly resulted in limiting my life as I've pondered whether such a life was worth living. It's OK for the person with dementia in many cases as, like my wife, they may not recall the upset or symptoms like incontinence or rage - we do though. It usually takes me a few days to get over my wife getting drunk!
 

maryjoan

Registered User
Mar 25, 2017
1,420
South of the Border
I've just noticed this post Maryjoan.
A confabulation is something that comes from impaired memory or understanding. It's where facts are missing or misinterpreted and the person fabricates their own tale when recalling the event as their brain fills any gaps so that it makes sense to themselves. In that way it's a distorted reality so is different to something like an hallucination.

On the subject of alcohol, my wife's tolerance is now reduced and I would surmise that it's due to both loss of brain substance/function and the medication she is on.

Whilst I agree with the attitude of the GP I try to regulate the number of times when my wife drinks too much as it's when she gets too drunk that she is hardest to manage. A couple of times it's nearly resulted in limiting my life as I've pondered whether such a life was worth living. It's OK for the person with dementia in many cases as, like my wife, they may not recall the upset or symptoms like incontinence or rage - we do though. It usually takes me a few days to get over my wife getting drunk!
I can see exactly what you mean,Pete, - every time my OH gets the wine bottle out, I get inwardly angry - but he fails to see this. Because of what has happened to him - I do not drink at all for months on end. I might have a wee drink at Christmas, but then, otherwise not at all... thank you for explaining confabulation - I thought it was a made up word!
What a surreal world we live in......gosh I do hate it!
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,699
80
East of England
It certainly is surreal @maryjoan and at times I get so tired of it, the constant irrationally of it all. I have stopped drinking alcohol except on special occasions. So if I have any in the house, we have a glass each and then I put it away until the next day. If I have another non alcoholic drink he gets quite challenging, thinking I am having more wine and why can’t he.
 

rhubarbtree

Registered User
Jan 7, 2015
494
North West
What happened to holding the wine glass by the stem, breathing in the aroma before the first sip? My OH downs the whole glass in one, no clinking or saying thank you or cheers.

Maryjoan, all very well and true the doctor saying that, but it would be us dealing with the consequences of over indulgence (I am thinking toilet issues).