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I am a full time caregiver for my mother. She is 100% in denial that she needs help with anything at all. She is an alcoholic, prideful, narcissistic and her personality at this point is equally defensive/nasty. This was never the case while I was growing up. She used to be the sweetest and smartest person in any room.


My mother is 74, has an Alzheimer’s/dementia diagnosis, a serious balance problem, and yet goes out to the bar 7 nights a week. She has had multiple falls, hitting her head on brick on more than one occasion without attempting to see a doctor. She refuses to see doctors because they all tell her she needs to stop drinking and that she has dementia.


Everyone I meet just advises that I try to hire home care (we can’t afford it/she would NEVER accept it) or that I try to find some kind of daycare for adults.
She would *never* go to something like this in a million years. She refuses to do any “senior” activities even because she won’t accept that she is old and has any limitations.
Is there anyone out there experiencing anything like this? I haven’t seen any posts like this yet…

Zippy may be along with those zippy short answers.. until then...

My guess is that you have a kind heart, like to be useful, feel it's your duty & stepped in to help.

More than stepping in, you moved in - jumped in heart first.

"They don’t live with me, I live with them. I moved back in with them 5 years ago to care for them, so they own the house, etc. I’m essentially financially at their mercy".

Living there is not permanent. You CAN jump back out.

"This is a pride thing for them, but it’s totally controlling my life/future".

Pick up YOUR pride & say NO.

Have a good chat to both your folks. Tell them they need more help than you can give. You will be looking to move into your own place very soon. You can help them with a needs assessment to get in home-help.

Yes you can still help too BUT ⚠️⚠️⚠️ if you are ALL their solutions they will never look for alternative solutions!

Think about this too:
is Dad is enabling Mom?
Are you enabling Dad, to enable Mom?

If you left, would Dad choose differently?
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Reply to Beatty
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I've been in recovery and sober for 30 years. Your story really touched me.

If your mom has been drinking alcoholically for a long time, it would be difficult to determine whether she has AD/dementia or if the effects of heavy drinking are presenting as AD/dementia.

The disease of addiction (which I call "The Monster") is doing all of your mom's thinking and talking. You cannot reason with it. The Monster doesn't want anyone coming in the house because it might interfere with her drinking. The Monster doesn't want her to engage in activities because they might interfere with her drinking. The Monster is a progressive physical disease with psychological dependency. The Monster must be obeyed until it kills you and takes everyone around you down with it. That is the sad life of an alcoholic.

I recommend staging an intervention, preferably with a professional. You pull together everyone who cares about her who has been hurt, scared or worried about her drinking. Each of you tells her specific instances of how her drinking has impacted you. Then you tell her that, unless she agrees to get help, you will no longer <xyz>. And you stick to your bottom line! It doesn't have to be an expensive treatment center. AA is free and a lot of people, myself included, got sober and stayed sober through AA. Or you can do nothing and wait for the inevitable catastrophe.

I'm sure you realize that your dad is enabling her disease by driving her to a bar 7 nights a week. The money he's spending on her booze could be redirected to in-home care.

There are two choices for an alcoholic: Stop drinking or die. You and your dad deserve better and so does your mom. God bless.
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Reply to Sasha17
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Ok, some clarifying info:

My father is in the mix too. He is 80 and despite two rounds of cancer, is far more together than my mother. He is the caregiver for my mother when I’m not home/out of town. He also goes out with her to the bar every night, he’s the one who drives and he is safe. I don’t worry about him anywhere near as much as my mother. If my father weren’t here, my mom would be being professionally cared for- 100%. I couldn’t work and watch her full time. But when I’m around, I’m his caregiver too.
My parents actually have too much money to qualify for Medicaid for the state to pay me to be their caregiver. So I still have to work (3 jobs!) even with having to care for them from home. They don’t pay me to take care of them because they both won’t accept exactly how much help they need. This is a pride thing for them, but it’s totally controlling my life/future.
Also. They don’t live with me, I live with them. I moved back in with them 5 years ago to care for them, so they own the house, etc. I’m essentially financially at their mercy.
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Reply to youknowyoudid
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Well, at 74, she really ISN'T all that old.

But her behavior is unaccpetable--esp the going out drinking every night.

She lives with you? I think that has to stop. She could live 20 more years, tho unlikely with that level of alcohol consumption.

Totally agree with ALvaDeer (I always do, BTW) and mom needs to be out of your immediate care.

Mom doesn't need home care--she needs a place to live where she can be watched and her drinking curtailed.

Just a quick ? How does she get out to/back from the bars? I hope she's not driving herself!

She'll be mad at you, but it doesn't sound like she's very respectful of you anyway, how much worse can it get?

Medicaid is the possibility if she has no money. You need to save yourself! I bet you have many nights a week when you're worried sick over what she's up to.

Sounds like she's using you to have free board and room and that leaves more $$ for drinking.
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Reply to Midkid58
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She will inevitably fall or do something that will result in you calling 911. When she's taken to the hospital, refuse to take her home once discharged. The social workers will try to talk you into it. Do not give in. Refuse to take her home. This will get the ball rolling for placement.

Others on here have advice on how to get POA, Medicaid, placement and such.
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Reply to LoopyLoo
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Are you POA? Does Mom's dementia prevent her from being competent in her own decisions?
I also recommend placement for your Mom. That will both care for her dementia and prevent over consumption of alcohol. If Mom has no funds for this she will have to be on Medicaid and she may require guardianship of you or of the State. Do not give your own life up. This is a person who may live for decades more.
And yes, there have been many posts from families trying to deal with alcoholics, with those with dementia, and with those who suffer from both.
As a senior with dementia your Mom should, of course, not be out to bars. Whether her dementia is a result of Alzheimer's or Alcoholic Encepholopathy may be difficult to sort out, but whatever the cause, you should not give up your own life to either. I wish you the best.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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