Don't know how best to care for elderly bedridden alcoholic mother.
Sorry, this is a long post/question...
My mother is a year shy of 80-years-old. She has a history of depression and anxiety disorder, but though I have encouraged and cajoled for her to get help for almost 3 decades, she has always refused, preferring "tea and sympathy" from me. Twice over the years, I've managed to convince her to go to a doctor for the depression, but she has never gone back after the first visit. She tried Citalopram briefly, but I didn't see any difference.
Except for a handful of blissfully free years when she had a lot of money, and I was able to live on my own, she has shared a house with me my adult entire life, and I have supported her financially most of that time. Any time I went anywhere overnight, she'd call with an emergency. For years, she threatened almost every day to commit suicide. Once I became older and marriage was pretty much off the table for me, the suicide threats calmed down, but she still tells me she would commit suicide if I moved away.
My mother has two problems that complicate her depression and anxiety. One, she prefers to self-medicate with alcohol. She also has the uncanny ability to create serious physical symptoms in herself that are so convincing she regularly fools specialists. Once they start, they can last for months, or until she finds a doctor who tells her there's nothing wrong with her. She then believes the doctor and the symptoms clear up immediately.
A month ago she got drunk and fell. She didn't appear to have any broken bones (no one in our family has ever broken a bone). She'd simply pulled a couple of muscles. I helped her into bed. For the next week, her symptoms varied, pains here, there, in her neck, in her side, in her back.
Her original pulled muscles healed within three days, but instead of becoming well enough to get out of bed, the muscles in her lower back spasmed and have remained that way since. She can only walk a few steps, and is crying when she does. She won't go to see a doctor. So, now I appear to be an around-the-clock caretaker. I bring her everything she needs. She tells me that wine is the only thing that makes her spasms better, so I bring her a couple of glasses a day mixed with juice along with her meals.
This afternoon, however, I had to run errands. When I came home, she was completely wasted. Evidently she could walk well enough to make it all the way to the kitchen, where she downed half a bottle of Vodka. Sometimes during the past few years she drinks more than I can get her to eat.
I really don't know what to do. I have no one I can go to for assistance. I spent too many years attempting to get help from government and non-profit agencies for another (unrelated) problem, so I have zero faith in going that route. They hand you a pamphlet and that's it. No concrete help.
We don't have any friends. Her other children, my siblings, abandoned her years ago. At her age, my conscience won't let me do the same, however. If only I knew 20 years ago, what I know now, I would have used some tough love and left, telling her she had to take responsibility for herself.
The bedridden part of this worries me. I'm concerned this could turn into a serious decline, and am not certain how best to care for her since she refuses to seek medical care. Frankly, even if she did go to a doctor, they rarely know how to treat her. She can be exceptionally charming with strangers, and is never honest with doctors about her symptoms unless she feels she has no choice.
Four weeks ago my mother could move around easily, and for once appeared very happy, working industriously on a book project. When not drunk, she acts like someone much younger. People are surprised when they learn her age. When drunk, on the other hand, she acts like someone with dementia.
Any suggestions for how I could handle this on my own would be greatly appreciated. This last month has taken a toll on my ability care for her AND to earn a living for us. We don't have insurance that will cover therapy, even if I could drag her to a therapist.