URGENT ADVICE NEEDED - ? Alcoholic Dementia, ? Korsakoff's, ? Dementia

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by SEA27, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. SEA27

    SEA27 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2015
    A huge hello to you all.

    I am a "newbie" but in need of friendly help and support.

    My Dad is 73 years of age. He is a very proud man, "old school" values and morals, with a huge heart, respectful and kind. He has had a huge amount to contend with in his life, having lost his Mum and Dad when he was 21, losing two children at birth, myself with a terrible skin condition, just to name a few.

    Dad has always been a drinker, but, over the past three months, this is out of control. I think the catalyst for what is happening now is Dad developed sepsis in his toe. He went from being such an outgoing person, walking or riding his bike to local shops every day, talking normally, engaging in conversations, cooking his breakfast etc, to now, admitting he has given up.

    He went through a major trauma with the sepsis, having had to have his toe nail and nail bed removed in an Outpatient Department to save his life. The sepsis returned so he was admitted to hospital for IV antibiotics. When he came home, he and Mum were informed their Landlord wanted his house back so they are now forced to move, yet again. All of this has been over a period of three months.

    So, now, Dad has not brushed his hair, washed, shaved, been out much, is heavily reliant on alcohol, talks to himself, is losing bank cards or pin numbers, is verbally abusive to Mum and I and sits and cries. He reverts back to the "good old days" but cannot remember something I told him moments earlier. He continually repeats he has had enough and wants to die, although admits he will not kill himself but let nature take its toll! He wont eat, sleep or take his BP medication either.

    I called 111 last weekend and was speaking with an advisor who was lovely. He was a paramedic and explained that paramedics would come out and assess Dad if I could not get him to A & E. However, as I was not able to stay with Mum, she was terrified of the repercussions once the medics left, so had to leave it. I saw Dad's GP yesterday who basically advised he cannot help unless Dad asks for help. Even when I mentioned Korsakoff's Syndrome and Dementia, I was still advised nothing could be done.

    My poor Mum works full time, is trying to pack up a house and is scared of my Dad the way he is at the moment. He will not let me pack, as cries when the parcel tape reel is used, and keeps shouting "leave me alone".

    This morning, I had really had enough. I told him I was going to get a doctor out to him. After much verbal abuse, with an angry, distorted face, he advised if I did get someone out, he would tell them exactly what they wanted to hear - "I am moving home, it is stressful, my daughter has wasted your time", and then the repercussions for Mum.

    If anyone can offer any help or advice I would be most grateful, as I cannot bear to see my Dad like this, am worried for my Mum and we both really do not know what we are dealing with.

    Thank you so much.
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hello SEA and welcome to Talking Point.
    I am not surprised that you are concerned. May I start by saying that if your dad becomes physically agressive please, please contact the police. For your own safety make sure there is a room that can be locked from the inside and have a phone in there to call the police. The police will also contact SS and this can be a way of moving forward towards a diagnosis.

    I am sorry that your GP has been so unhelpful. Quite often the GP is happy to call them in on some pretext, do a memory test "while they are there" ;) and refer them to the memory clinic. Is there another GP you can talk to? This in-between stage, when there are problems, but they havnt been diagnosed/lost capacity so they can still officially choose, but they wont accept help....... is really difficult.

    BTW, the sudden increase in alcohol intake could be a symptom of dementia rather than the cause (Korsakoffs) of his problems.
  3. SEA27

    SEA27 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2015
    Thank you

    Dear Canary

    Many thanks for the welcome and for taking the time to post a reply. I am very grateful for the advice and help.

    Kind regards
  4. bemused1

    bemused1 Registered User

    Mar 4, 2012
    Sea I have been through this stage. Although not with quite as severe a problem.
    The plain truth is that unless your father drinks to the point where he has to be hospitalised you are unlikely to get any help unless. he first stops drinking and/or seeks help himself.
    This isn't what you want to hear I know, but it is what I experienced.
    You can try diluting his drink, it worked to a certain point for us or substituting low alcohol drinks. Or you can wait until he just forgets he drinks and yes that does happen.
    The main thing is to ensure the safety of yourself and your mum.
    I am sorry, I wish I could be more helpful but the involvement of alcohol casts a very different light on things.
  5. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    Your Dad sounds as if he may be seriously (clinically) depressed too. The out of control drinking will certainly worsen any depression.

    The key player in all this is your Dad's GP - and sadly you don't feel you're getting much support from him. It may be that your Dad's GP is really being as passive as he seems to be. On the other hand, it may be that the GP's respect for patient confidentiality means he can't be open with you about what he's trying.

    Have you tried the approach of documenting / diarising what's actually happening (amounts drunk, threats made, signals given of intense distress / suicidal thoughts) and giving this documented information to the GP, with the request that he keep it confidential but do a "drop in" visit?

    If the GP still won't play then could you ask him to whom should you pass on this information to get help for your Dad and Mum (eg Community Psychiatric Services, Police, Social Services, etc)?

    I think if I were really worried about my parents' safety (for separate reasons), I'd take myself off to the local Police station and ask whether I could speak to someone about putting them on the radar as vulnerable people who may need an urgent response from the Police if there's an emergency. It's possible the Police may be able to stir up action by Social Services etc so there won't be any such emergency.
  6. SEA27

    SEA27 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2015
    Thank you to you all

    Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply. I am so grateful but so upset. Dad is breaking my heart. I do not live with Mum and Dad, and I cannot stay with Dad 24/7. I am worried sick about him, even more so when I ring and there is no answer! My health bad too, and my anxiety is off the scale at the moment but I really wish I could help Dad. I know he says he doesn't want to be helped, but I am struggling to believe that "he" is saying these things.
    In tears, again, but just wanted to say "thank you".
  7. woodbrooklabs

    woodbrooklabs Registered User

    Aug 17, 2015
    So sorry to hear about your dad. Must be really difficult. In a similar situation with my father but he is not violent or abusive thankfully, so easier to handle. Dads doctor to isn't much help. He also says that he cannot do anything unless dad wants help.

    I would definitely ring the police if he is physically/mentally abusive to you or your mum. Both your health and your mums is important to, just as is your dads. You need to take care of yourself or you'll be no help to either of them. Be firm with him and take no nonsense, I know this is easier said than done. Something has to give in order to get help. If it carries on, please call police or even ambulance if he is threatening to harm himself.x
  8. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Welcome to TP - sounds as though you need a place to sound off, so I'm glad you're here.
    So sorry your dad won't seek help himself.
    I have little else to add to your other replies, really.
    Just wondering if your mum could see her GP and offload all of this (yes I am thinking that it's probably the same GP, who needs to consider your mum's position). The stress of it all must be having an effect on her, which may give the GP a reason to visit HER to help HER? and then assess the situation with him?
    And this worried me
    Was he threatening her? It's underhand, but have an audio - or even video - recorder/mobile on when dealing with him. Maybe you can capture when he is threatening your mother, or abusive to her/you or threatening to harm himself. I understood that medical professionals and SS have a duty of care and must act in such circumstances.
    And please take the advice offered to call/visit the police - better to call them in soon and have them help, than wait because you fear further aggression; that's a very dangerous downward spiral.
  9. SEA27

    SEA27 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2015

    Dear All

    Thank you for your comments regarding the Police and SS. I have taken on board everything that has been mentioned.

    Dad is not physically abusive, and nor would he hurt himself, he just talks a lot, over and over again, about wanting to die. When I mentioned "repercussions for Mum", I was referring to bad language, and things he knows what to say to have her in tears. Whilst none of this is acceptable, far from it, Mum is just trying to "keep the peace"! It is a very difficult situation, and I was sorry to learn that many of you have been, or are going through, similar.

    Indeed, it is a slippery slope and no, the GP, in this case, is not sympathetic or understanding. His idea to help Mum is for her to leave!

    Depression, I feel too, is playing a major part in this nightmare situation. Alcohol is a depressive and so Dad is making everything worse for himself, as well as Mum and I, by losing himself in a bottle. I have tried to talk to him about it, needless to say, with no luck!

    To all of you, thank you so much. I have found your responses, and advice very helpful, and I am so very grateful. It has meant a lot to me to be able to "talk" about the situation - THANK YOU!
  10. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    near Folkestone
    Hello it could be that your dad is feeling real poorly still?! I had sepsis and was in hospital with it in September and also on IV AB,s and even now , nearly over a month later , I have still not fully recovered. My GP says it takes 3 month ! It also went on my heart and I have an been left with an irregular heart beat but it should sort itself out eventually . Can't you tell dad he needs a check up to make sure sepsis is fully gone and then inform GP so he can look at your dad? Xx

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  11. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Can I just ask could it be that your dad is having a nervous breakdown? Personally I hunk the GP should be more helpful for you and your parents sakes. Even if he was fit and healthy before his decline, having to deal with sepsis and moving when it's not his choice is frightening and he probably feels overwhelmed with it all.

    Have they found somewhere else to live? Is he interested in looking at anywhere? Have you spoken to council to see if sheltered housing maybe available or any housing at all. He maybe classed as a vulnerable adult with his attitude and depressive thoughts. He sounds to me like he's a proud stubborn man, who really doesn't see the need to carry on right now. He maybe thinks your mum is better living on her own as he sees himself as a burden and expected his life to be so different from how's it's turned out.

    He may say to you that he will say he's coping to GP etc but when he's put on the spot he may not, he may admit how he actually feels, so what have you hot to lose by calling him in. It's not just what he says if he's looking unkempt and rough GP should notice.
  12. henfenywfach

    henfenywfach Registered User

    May 23, 2013

    The one thing that can be instigated that might not frighten your dad is a routine blood test!..its not specific to dementia as we all have them. Our go does well man or wellwoman clinics.

    The thing with alcohol related dementia is that it's probably the only one that can be sort of reversed with the replacement of thiamine or b12 etc.
    That's not to say that a person couldn't be diagnosed with another dementia.

    I understand your frustration as of it is alcoholic dementia then the stomach lining could be inflamed and not able to absorb vitamins properly from our food and alcohol has an impact on the thiamine to be able to coverted to the good vitamin bit of thiamine.

    I know it's easier said than done..but general vitamin check might sound less frightening than memory assessments.

    Not much help sorry but worth a try!
    Best wishes
  13. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    What about calling the local mental health crisis team or adult services? For both your parent's sakes and for yours. I think you've got to do something haven't you? This can't go on. Can you speak to a different GP at their doctor's surgery perhaps? How much longer can you all carry on like this?
  14. woodbrooklabs

    woodbrooklabs Registered User

    Aug 17, 2015
    Hi, any news on your dad?x

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