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I'm very new to this world of having a parent with dementia. Seven weeks ago my dad broke 3 ribs from a fall, and 36 hours after being in the hospital, he went into alcohol withdrawal. We knew he was a heavy evening drinker, but didn't realize just how much. Also had A-Fib, Diabetes, overweight, etc. Following withdrawal came respiratory failure, put on life support twice within a week. Between the withdrawal and ICU experience, his body has been through the ringer. As he became more alert he showed signs of dementia. All the doctors were sure he had plateaued and wouldn't get better. Fast-forward to today: He's been in a memory care/nursing home for a week and is getting more alert and remembering more every day. Definitely has some level of dementia, though. However, he talks nonstop with the staff and is much more coherent than the other residents. He wrote me and my husband a little letter, apologizing for being argumentative with us the day before. He remembers things from the past and from day to day. I think my issue is that I can't see the future. :) It doesn't seem like he belongs there, but if he doesn't get any better than he is, he'll be stuck there. At least that's how I feel. He wants me to "pick him up and take him to a hotel just for a night or two." He wants out, which I know is normal. Ugh. That's all for now. This is hard.

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Chdottir, Ah, a fellow-PK! 😊 Thank you for the tips. A worker at the care facility said exactly what you did - just continue to say that it's up to the doctor, etc. Thank you!!
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JennyKat - it must be hard. I don't think you need to bring up the poor choices he made. Just keep repeating - you need to stay here until you are well enough to leave. And if authority makes any difference you could say, until the DOCTOR says you are well enough to leave. Would bringing in his pastor be of any help? (BTW my father was a Luther pastor also :) )
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Sometimes we get off topic here or don't exactly answer the OP question but that's when I get the most laughs and super good ideas here!
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Thank you, everyone! The reference to the bible is hilarious because my dad is a retired Lutheran pastor, and one of the comments he makes often is, "Who in the world is in charge of this church(the facility)? And who's monitoring those kids (the CNAs) over there? They sure work hard!" He gets on kicks talking about the gospel as well. One other question: He keeps asking me about making a plan to get into another facility. Of course I'm not going to give in (I've watched him struggle through a speech/cognitive session and he's super low still). However, what do I respond with? He knows his drinking caused all this - do I get firm with him and respond with "Here's the deal...you chose to drink, you chose to not take care of yourself, and now here you are, and you're staying here until you get better." Or...??
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Charmer and Manipulater!

That's my dad. It used to work, not anymore! Still learning how to handle those situations when they arise, with big thanks to AC friends!

Keep on reading here jennycat68
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Oh Rainmom, that's a great one! hee, hee


John Chapter 2 vs 1-11 says, He turned water into wine but never said that He
DRANK any!
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Good one Rainmom! Bwahaha!
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Jennykate whatever you do do not take him out of memory care. Alcohohics can be very devious and he may slip out of your clutches. They can also be extremely charming when it suites there purpose to manipulate someone. Basically you will have to get used to not believing whatever comes out of his mouth until you verify it for yourself.
Dad has some significant diseases other than the dementia and broken ribs, and needs to be stabilized after all he has been through. Supervised care is the thing he needs right now and that is what he is getting.
Another problem that is serious and crops up in alcoholics is liver failure, this can also cause dementia.
As you say you are new to this and everyone here will tell you it is a steep learning curve.
Don't take everything you read here as gospel mostly it is peoples' opinions and experiences. Do some research yourself on everything he has got wrong with him and ask lots of questions of the staff careing for Dad.
He may remain dried out if Dad stays in memory care but that is not going to make his other problems go away magically. The A fib is particularly worrying. Does he have a good cardiologist?
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Bootshop- next time your mother brings up Jesus drinking wine, answer - "yeah well, Jesus turned water into wine. Here's a glass of water - knock yourself out".
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In my mom's case the hospital I.c.u. made her dementia worse. She broke her pelvis and her back. She told everybody she saw that a little glass of wine would be good. She had to go to a behavioral unit hospital before she went to rehab. This is hard. I think she had a little withdraw going on there plus alot of new meds mixed in made a very bad combo. It's also extra hard when it is your parent and they are telling you "Jesus drank wine"!
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Oh, how very hard this is! Alcoholism and Dementia both hurt loved ones as well as the patient. Don't be down on yourself when you don't know what to expect or what to do. You weren't issued a manual! You sound like you are holding up pretty well. Come back and post often.
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Jennykat,
My heart goes out to you. I'm the adult child of two alcoholics. My dad died 5 years ago. Mom is 94 with stage 6 Alzheimer's living with us (for now).
Life was hard with Dad's drinking because it came before anything else. Mom had her binge drinking moments during my childhood too. From birth to 5 yrs. old, I watched more booze fights than I care to remember. They finally divorced when I was 5. That lifestyle hurts the whole family.

Your dad possibly had some brain damage if he was a constant heavy drinker. Talk to his doctor about this.
From Alzheimer's Society website;
Alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD) is a brain disorder caused by regularly drinking too much alcohol over several years. The term ARBD covers several different conditions including Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and alcoholic dementia. None of these is actually a dementia, but they may share similar symptoms. However, in contrast to common causes of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, most people with ARBD who receive good support and remain alcohol-free make a full or partial recovery. In addition, there is a good possibility that their condition will not worsen.

This is good news. Of course, he will need to stop drinking to reap the benefits.

Like gladimhere said, most alcoholics don't want to stop drinking and will do anything to get a bottle. God knows my dad did. He convinced my ex-husband to bring him beer and wine in the board and care facility. Sheesh! That will be the reason for the hotel trip for a couple of days. He may have physically detoxed during the 2 weeks but his mind hasn't.

You certainly have been through an exhausting time with your dad's health. Hopefully, your dad will recover and see just how close he came to loosing his life. Unfortunately, a lot of alcoholics are so engrained in the lifestyle and in denial, there's no way they'll quit. There are "helps' out there-Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, Antibuse (a medication that keeps you from drinking by causing a violent reaction when alcohol is ingested, detox and half way houses, etc.
Your dad has to WANT to participate in them and not drink. As glad said, don't enable his drinking behaviors. NO trips to a hotel for a few days. You will not take him anywhere or be around him of there's alcohol involved.
Drinking is the cause of his overweight, diabetes and At-fib. Alcohol in large amounts, wreaks havoc to all body systems.

You will need to take it day by day to see the future as it unfolds. No written guarantees. He may have lost it for good and he may recover some of his mentation.

I'm sorry, I know how much this hurts, especially since the cause is of his own hand.
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Alcohol withdrawal and being in the hospital can disorient people and cause psychosis. It is good that he seems to be coming out of it, but I agree with gladimhere. This is a good chance for him to dry out and break the addiction to alcohol. It will be like rehab for him. Maybe in the future he'll be able to get out again and hopefully he won't go back to drinking. If he does get out, I hope you can get him involved with AA. Many alcoholics feel they can break the addiction by themselves, but end up failing. People with AA have a better chance of staying straight.
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He wants out for a day or two to a hotel with a well stocked bar, no doubt. Been there. There is alcohol induced dementia, it actually impacts brain function. Do not enable his behavior. If he is competent he will find a way to leave, you do not need to help him do it.

Find an Al-Anon meeting to learn about alcoholic behaviors, how manipulative they can be, and for the support you need as you establish the courage to develop boundaries.
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