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How to deal with dad's drinking

Outlander

Registered User
Jan 28, 2013
9
0
Ashton Under Lyne
Hi, not posted on here for a while but would really appreciate some advice! Just to bring you up to speed, we got dad to the memory clinic where he was initially diagnosed with (medium stage) vascular dementia - a subsequent brain scan confirmed this.
In a strange way I'm glad that we've now got a diagnosis and are working towards getting some additional support for mum and dad from Crossroads.
The problem we've got at the moment is in relation to dads drinking. He's never been a big drinker, but over the last 2 - 3 months has been drinking a lot more and gets very agitated if there is no drink (whiskey) in the house. The doctor is reluctant to prescribe any medication until dad reduces his drinking.
We've tried to water it down but if dad realises we've done this he gets angry and demands a new bottle. We've also tried to substitute whiskey with wine - sometimes he'll have wine instead but always comes back to the whiskey.
Short of making him go 'cold turkey' does anyone have any suggestions - we've explained to dad in a number of different ways that he needs to reduce his drinking, which he always agrees with but then the next minute he's looking for the whiskey!
I suppose I'm looking for a solution that will make life easier for mum - am conscious that although I do what I can it's mum who is currently supporting dad 24/7 at the moment.
I know that I'm being very naive here, and that if this issue gets resolved there will be another one to take its place but one thing at a time!

Thanks for reading x
 

Hair Twiddler

Registered User
Aug 14, 2012
891
0
Middle England
Hello Outlander,
My mum has AZ and drinks about three quarters of a bottle of wine a day. She is 86 years old. She does not accept that the alcohol is causing any sort of a problem. I can sympathise and understand your concern regarding your dad and your mum. Do try talking to your dad about it and the effect that it is having on your mum and you. Unless he wants to curb his drinking and acknowledges the halm it is doing then I am afraid that you are facing a future much like mine whereby you do your best to provide food (at the optimum time to absorb the alcohol), distraction and some attempt to disrupt the drinking patterns during the day/evening. I am guessing that you have already tried providing ice and or a small jug of water (or peppermint codial) next to his glass along with some encouragement to have a mixer with his whiskey? I am sorry that I have no solution - I wish to goodnes that I had.

Best wishes - Twiddler.
 

Noorza

Registered User
Jun 8, 2012
6,542
0
I am no expert here, but have a little bit of experience with mental health and people who have mental health problems. Some people I've met "self medicate" with alcohol or drugs to blot out the pain of their mental health problems which ironically only make it worse.

I have no advise but offered this as another thought into your poor parents' problem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-medication
 
Last edited:

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
25,129
0
North Manchester
He might drink the whisky for a mixture of two reasons, craving for alcohol and thirst. Try and lessen the thirst component by keeping him topped up with other drinks.
 

Outlander

Registered User
Jan 28, 2013
9
0
Ashton Under Lyne
Hi All,

many thanks for taking the time to reply. Well we had managed to stop dad from drinking whiskey by giving him non-alcoholic wine and telling him it was whiskey.
Unfortunately things have gone downhill really quickly in terms of dads behaviour and on Friday he had to be admitted to the Dementia Ward at the local hospital.
As I understand matters he will be there for approximately 6 weeks whilst they complete an assessment on him.
To be totally honest I'm relieved that he is now in hospital - mum was really struggling to cope 24/7. We are hoping that dad will be able to come back home eventually but with the right medication and care package in place for both mum and dad.
Went to see dad yesterday - the nurses say that he is settling in OK, and he looks well. The ward he is in is lovely - as are the staff. Mum's still getting used to not having dad around (they've been married 51 years) but seems to be less stressed than of late.
Let's see what happens today! x