Alcoholism & Alcoholic Dementia Denial - how do you reason with them?

Follow
Share

How do you cope with an elderly loved one who denies both issues. They do not believe they have a drinking issue, do not believe the doctors, and family too trusting of doctors outcome. The loved one lives on their own, declines any in-home help from outside sources, says they will never go to a nursing home; has high expectations from their children, and is most times shut in, lonely, and condescending. Doctors say he still can make decisions and it will get worse - breaking a hip or other. ANON family support group says not to enable him in any way eg. don't help him when sick from drinking unless life threatening. On the other hand, Community Help Groups say the Dementia causes him to have no insight and it’s not his fault; that I have to use the 3 R’s - Recognise, Reassure, and Redirect. Hard to do when he refuses to take his pills as he blames things like these for being sick. Any support groups out there that specialize with someone who has both issues? Should I keep trying to get him to accept his condition or should I accept that trying to get him to understand is impossible?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
5

Answers

Show:
My father in law has alcohol dementia and believe me, I do know what you are going through, and I’m sorry.
This particular type of dementia seems to make the individual even nastier and more apathetic than the “usual/normal” type (whatever that is).

If your loved one is still living on his own and capable of making his own decisions (no POA or guardian in place) then there might be little you can do.
Is he still driving? If so you do want to make sure he isn’t drinking before doing so for obvious reasons. If he is and he won’t listen, you need to call the police and report him. Innocent people could be harmed or killed if you look the other way.

I see that you have contacted agencies so you’ve been proactive in looking for help/answers. You could call Adult Protective Services and have a social worker come to the home to assess him but if he’s cognizant enough, he might be able to fool the case worker (showtimer’s) into believing no intervention is needed.

You do have to accept your loved ones condition but please dont give up. Eventually he will need you or other family members to step in and help out. 

In the case of my father in law, when he stopped driving, my mother in law was buying the wine he drank every night until he fell asleep. We stopped her from supplying the alcohol so he was forced to quit drinking. Eventually, you will be able to do the same when he can no longer obtain the booze himself and that will hopefully make a difference in his behavior.

The advice you were told about arguing/reasoning is right on, it’s a huge waste of your time.
Please keep us posted on your progress, I wish you luck!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change (his alcoholism and dementia)
Courage to change the things I can (how you deal with it, how it affects you)
And the wisdom to know the difference

Trying to get him to accept his condition is only going to make YOU crazy. Besides, there's nothing you can do to make him accept anything. Sometimes we have to stand back and watch the inevitable as difficult as that is.

Did he drink prior to the dementia? I've never heard of someone with dementia suddenly picking up the bottle one day and becoming an alcoholic. Or is the dementia directly related to his alcoholism?

I don't know who he is to you--father, brother, husband, uncle--but Alanon is a great group to gain some perspective on our loved one's alcoholism.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

He still on his own? How's he get booze?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Rainmom: I am already feeling the arguments, frustration; and any efforts on my part being dismissed by my father. I feel though I cannot easily move to new ways of handling - I wonder - if you could go back in time you still might find it hard to change due to the numerous situations that you are faced with? What would you have done differently? Any tips would be most appreciated!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

There is no reasoning with dementia.

This should be dubbed The Golden Rule of Dementia- in my opinion.

The earlier you accept this the better off you’ll be.

I wish I had learned this much earlier in my journey in being responsible for my mother. It would have saved countless hours of arguments, frustration, effort and pointless planning.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions