My Dad has been a "functioning" alcoholic for years. Now he is 85, my mom has passed away.

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He just wants to use alcohol to kill himself. He went through a physical detox, at a hospital, but won't go to any AA meetings or get any type of counseling. From the hospital he went into a nursing home because he has alcohol induced polyneuropathy. After 6 weeks, he was doing so well, I actually picked him up 2 days early. He was home for 3 hours, I went into the bathroom, and the next thing I knew, he was pulling out of the driveway. He went to buy booze. In one afternoon, he downed a pint of whiskey and a 6 pk. He did that for 2 days, when other family members came to assist and we started controlling his amounts. I feel like I'm in a lose-lose situation. If I don't get it for him, he goes into angry rants and tries to walk to town, 15 miles away. If I do get it and try to monitor it, he just demands more. tonight he couldn't get out of his chair, I can no longer physically help him, as I have a hernia, caused from helping lift him in the past. He does have dementia, but doesn't seem to forget that he drinks. I have hidden his keys now and he is angry about that. He is not beyond driving drunk, as he did this in the past before his detox. He doesn't remember that he agreed to detox, he blames me for putting him in there. I have a brother & we share POA, but he feels, I should just pack up and leave and let my dad suffer the consequences. I am not able to do that. I know that the easy answer is not to buy him his booze, but it isn't that simple. He doesn't want to do hobbies, he has alienated all his friends. He just wants to kill himself with the alcohol. Part of me says, ok, go ahead, and part of me feels so much pain for my dad. I feel like a rubber band pulled too many ways. Thank you for letting me tell my story, I guess I really don't have a question.


Whoa, time for another family intervention, you can't do this alone. Go to an Al Anon meeting and share your dilemma.
Your story sounds like mine in so many ways. I am on the other side of most of what you are going through and would like to share what worked for my family. My older Brother has alcohol induced dementia and at 62 is in a nursing home for the rest of his life. He can't live on his own because he won't take care of himself. We have found him twice at the brink of death because he drank and didn't eat for days.

You can't stop a alcoholic from drinking, left on his own he can't and won't stop drinking. By all means a drunk driver can kill someone!!

Find your Dad a good nursing home and pack up and start living you on life.

I wish you and your family the best! Stay strong and take care of yourself.

What Care42 wrote is so true. My older brother was an alcoholic. There was nothing anyone could do to help him, because he was married to the bottle. Things done to rescue him didn't help. They just kept him from hitting bottom and let him keep living life as he was doing. He ended up losing all of the jobs and his wife. Finally he drank himself to death when he was 57. The only person who could have helped him was himself, but he was bent on self destruction from an early age.

A bad thing about someone caught up in a serious alcohol addiction is they end up hurting people around them. They will lie, manipulate, and steal to get a drink. My brother would steal from my parents when they gave him a place to stay. He went into my purse twice when he and I were both here visiting my parents. He didn't get anything, because I knew to lock my wallet up in my car's glove box. Otherwise he would have taken my money. The last time I saw him he was on his way to rehab. He asked me if I would drive him. It made no sense, since he had a car he could drive there. I knew he wanted to hit me up for money, so I told him no, he could drive there. He would have to have the car when he got out, anyway. I knew the mind of an addict and didn't want to put up with him trying to manipulate me.

Rehab didn't work. He got out and went straight back to drinking. He had so many chances, but his attachment to the bottle was so strong. The only thing one can do for an addict is give opportunities and incentives for them to want to change. And if they don't want to, the worst thing we can do is enable their self destruction. They can do that all alone. Pam's advice to get with Al-Anon was excellent. Pattip, you have the extra consideration of the age of your father. If you think he will drive under the influence, alert your local police to be on the lookout. They may be able to intervene in a way that you can't.

Parents can certainly put their children into predicaments at times.
My ex has alcohol induced dementia, hes 45.

You CAN'T make him stop drinking. Right now, though you THINK you are helping him, you are actually enabling him to keep drinking.

Stop buying alcohol. You say it's not that simple, but YES IT IS! Stop allowing him to drink in your home(or if it's his home, leave). Do not give him car keys or money.

If he wants to keep drinking he can figure it out himself. If he walks to the booze store, and falls on the way, they will bring him to the hospital...don't pick him up. They can place him in a nursing home.

Above all, stop blaming yourself for something you can't ever and will never control. You are a great person and have gone WAY above and beyond for him.

I have been through it for years. It never changes unless they want it to chance. With the case of my ex, he never wanted it to change, still doesn't, and has lost his mind, and his freedom because of it (he tried to kill me).

What can I say that hasn't already been said? You can't make someone be something they're not. Dad can't stop drinking because he doesn't want to. It's as simple as that. You say that if you don't get the alcohol, he will go himself. Dementia AND driving drunk. Contact the police and tell them he is suffering from dementia and is trying to drive while under the influence. Keep the keys and disengage the car somehow. You don't want someone else's death on your shoulders. It is obvious that dad can't stay by himself. I didn't get it if he lives alone or with you. You say he has no hobby and has alienated all of his friends. That was the choice he made. Now you have some choices. Stop buying alcohol, or help him feed his addiction. Hide his keys or let him drive drunk. You are danged if you do and danged if you don't. Error on the side of sanity. Tell him you love him, but can no longer witness his slow suicide. Check on him, but don't pick him up or clean him up. Tough love is just that. Tough. I feel you are mourning what could have been if dad didn't drink. It's time to move past that. Perhaps if you got his doctor involved, he might have some suggestions. How does he afford all the alcohol? Please don't tell me you are helping pay for it. You need to take a hard line and do it now. You can do this.
I'm jumping in here way-after the fact but I thought I was reading my own 85 yo dad functioning alcoholic all my life. He would not accept help except from health care worker who stole his life savings. After that he had to go in hospital for months to detox off alcohol and rehab from being found unconscious on toilet for 2 days. Even now (7 months later and two states away) he is still drawn to the liquor store and gets mad that I won't stop and buy alcohol. 7 months of backbreaking work, exhaustion and stress trying to help him and now I'm beyond caring if he gets mad at me for his irresponsible behavior. He wants a drink and thinks doctor is full of it who said not to mix alcohol and pain pills.
Years ago I had an alcoholic boyfriend. He couldn't keep a job nor stay in college even part time. I worked 2 PT jobs, was in school FT and did lots of really stupid things thinking it would help "stabilize" his life. I believed all his sob stories, and also believed his mother who "just knew" he would shape up "if only"....and this woman was a locally-prominent political figure. After about 3 wasted years of my life I somehow got the courage to leave this creepy relationship. I still feel hurt decades later, and still am embarrased by what I did, enabling this man (and his deluded mother). There is never ANY reason to help an alcoholic who is drinking.....let them wallow in their own problems, let them fail college, let them get fired, if they get into a car be sure to call 911 with description of vehicle (and use your phone to video or audio tape yourself telling the jerk that you will call police). Have NOTHING to do with them.
my dad is a functioning alcoholic also. He is 81 years old. He has really cut down on his drinking but still absolutely has to have that cocktail right at 4 o'clock every day and also has a Bloody Mary in the morning which he says is just tomato juice but I see him put vodka in it every single morning. The last time he drank too much was at my sisters house and he fell and had to be taken to the hospital because he popped his hip out. After they got the hip back in they wanted to send him home in my sister bag to them to keep him just to have a break from him for a night at least but after his blood results came back they found his alcohol level was three times over the normal or legal limit and they kept him in for 5 days to see if he would have any symptoms or detox. It didn't help and they sent him home and he continued on with his same ways. I'm sorry for the trouble you are going through but go to island on and at least save yourself.
I meant al- anon, not island

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