My parents declared they are "done" with life last night.

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Last night my parents, age 70 & 74 and living independently down the street from me, declared they are basically "done" with life. They say they see nothing out there for them. My father admits he is basically trying to kill himself with alcohol. This in spite of the fact that they are in good health (other than alcohol and depression), have a nice home, good financial situation, and one child (me) that watches out for them daily and brings no drama to their lives. They refuse to seek help for their depression. I don't know what to do. My mom's mom lived to 96. When I try to tell my mother she probably has another 20+ years ahead of her, all she says is she hopes not to live much longer. I'm tearing my hair out this morning!!!!!!! They say they don't want to live to an age to become a burden on me. They don't seem to have a clue that they are quickly becoming a burden at this point with their behavior. I run my own business and work 6.5 days per week, and spend my only time off (Sunday afternoons) at thier house while they tell me how awful life is and how they are "done" and they are too old to have positive things going on in their lives. We discuss things like cremation, burial, inheritance, physical ailments, and they bad mouth pretty much everyone they know. Then I go home, crash out in bed, and here I am, its Monday, up hours before the sun trying to get my work week started again. This sux.

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Floridakid - Alanon usually has a help line - someone mans it 24 hrs a day. It might be useful to give them a call and they will have someone call you back who can talk to you further, in depth, about you and your issues and what you can do. They will be able to help you more than we can when it comes to dealing with alcoholics. I am so sorry you are going through this. Caring for elders and all their health problems is tough enough. Dealing with alcoholic elders has got to be awful. Spouses you can leave, adult children you can kick out, but frail elders? That's tough. Sorry.
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I meant tried very hard :-)
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Maybe if you go to Alanon they'll go to AA...maybe not...relapses happen even then though. Their "point of view" is the addiction talking for sure. So many people really lose their health and can't enjoy these later years, to watch someone self-destruct who actually could has got to feel tragic - my heart aches for you! I have a good friend who finally had no choice but to watch her husband leave the family to pursue his addictions unhampered and self-destruct, leaving her to raise a whole passel of kids with just one grandparent to help. She tried very hear dto be supportive and encouraging, but he got better, he came back, he got worse, he left...I think he may have passed on recently but it is a chapter of her life she does not talk abotu a great deal. Stay in touch and go on taking good care of yourself, whatever happens after you have done all you can do for Mom and Dad - you need and deserve it!
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envision - I am truly finding that focusing on the good makes me feel better. I tend to be a "glass half empty" person, I always have been. Since we started the Good Attitude thing, I have learned that you are only as happy as you will let yourself be. Life is more challenging here lately for us between our business and the economy, and our parental situations. But we are working hard to see the good in each day, no matter how small. Some days, the "good" is only that nothing "bad" happened. Maybe if you project a good attitude, those around you will pick up on it and feel a little better. If not, then you do it for yourself. It has not caught fire with my parents yet and maybe it never will, but it's helping me cope and to be more in control of my own thoughts and emotions. It's also helping me sleep better at night, to try and block out the negative thoughts. I am trying to understand where my parents are coming from and respect their point of view and the fact that I can only do so much to help them, and the rest is up to them. I'm also working on eating better - foods that give me energy to be the best I can be every day, and that is helping too!
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I am so happy for you that you and your husband are doing things together, that are making your life better. I keep asking my husband to help me with these same types of lifestyle changes, and he just does not get it. I am going to try to "go it alone, and make a Good Attitude Pact with myself. My dad, who lives with me, is the same as your parents and talks aboout his health issues and end of his life.
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Thanks emjo! I do need to check out Alanon. I have printed off a schedule of local meetings but have not attended yet. I run a small business and have been working 7 days per week for over 2 months now (except my day in the ER!), and it's super hard to find the energy level at the end of the day to participate in a group activity. I'm hoping to get my work load under control in the next few weeks. I appreciate you checking back in with me!!
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((((((hugs)))))) - very tough situation, but I think you are right. It is their choice and likely anything will set them drinking again. Don't hold your breath - detach and get on with your life. Have you checked out Alanon, It may well help you. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Update: Spent all day last Sunday in the ER with Dad. He checked out well, so they sent us home :( I was hoping they would keep him. Counselor provided excellent info. for an alcohol treatment facility about 30 mins away. I thought we were on track. Monday, my parents seemed very rational and said they would like the week to get some things in order and make some phone calls and try to begin stopping drinking on their own. Seemed to be doing great! Then about 2 days into it, their next door neighbor and friend died unexpectedly in the middle of the night of a heart attack. I think my parents are now back on a downward drinking spiral. I guess at some point I need to realize my parents cannot cope with life, anything will set them off to drinking, and there is not a darn thing I can do about it. No one in the ER seemed too concerned about his condition and of course clarified that any treatment will have to be voluntary. At some point I guess you just accept destructive behavior and just hold your breath and hope for the best? I feel I am living in crisis mode 24/7 just waiting for the next bad situation....
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This sounds like it needs intervention. Inpatient/residential intervnetion. "Unable to stand or walk" is a legitimate medical crisis, mandating an initial medical evaluation and treatment of anything else going on, followed by substance abuse rehabilitation. In the process, be sure to get support for *yourself* and advice on how to avoid enabling things to continue as they are.
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Floridakid- Sorry to hear that your parents are deteriorating. Why are you waiting for tomorrow? Suggestion, contact primary care, give heads up and seek the doctors advise for advise and suggested next step. To much drama and medical issues to address on your own. Keep us posted. Regards, Sand
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