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Was hospitalized a few weeks ago for "acute vertigo" and falling down a lot. Low and behold to my surprise he was experiencing normal alcohol DT's (shaking/dizzy/etc.) and ended up having a seizure while in the hospital from the withdrawls. I had NO clue he is drinking like this... Anyway, took him home with 24 hour care and now he is refusing that and started drinking again. I am an only child and he lives alone.... he is combative and argumentative with me and will not listen to anything I say. ALSO, to make matters worse he is driving!!! He totally is showing signs of Dementia and not sure if ACTUAL Alzheimers or Alcohol induced Dementia,
Anyway, I am going CRAZY!!!!!

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Not at the point where anything can be "forced" yet. Unfortunately....
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I suggest long-term, court-mandated rehab. When you treat the addiction first, everything else usually falls into place, including figuring out if the Alzheimer's/Dementia are actually symptoms of alcohol psychosis. He's on self-destruct mode right now, and doesn't care how many people he takes with him. If rehab doesn't work, perhaps letting him know it's time to pack will sober him enough to make an effort to give up the sauce.
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Your situation with your father sounds almost exactly like what I dealt with with my father before he passed away about three years ago, right down to being the only child. At first his falling was thought to be the result of back surgery, a possible Parkinson's Plus diagnosis, regular Parkinson's or just a combination of the effects of treatment for different conditions that he had dealt with over the years. I had no idea that my father, with whom I had always had such a close relationship, had taken to drinking as much as he was. I simply would not believe it even when people and events pointed it out.
What followed were years of eye-opening experiences regarding his character. It sounds terrible to say, but I almost wish that they hadn't been able to keep him alive when he was in ICU fairly early on in his downward spiral, because what followed for him lacked any quality of life.
He wouldn't give up his car either, because that was the only way he could get to the liquor store on his own, until he had a wreck where he had to be pulled out of the car. After that, he would simply order a taxi when no one was around to go to the liquor store.
Anyway, sadly, much of your solution depends on his financial situation. We eventually had a helper come in about 4 - 6 hours a day which can become very expensive over time. I moved from Chicago so I could be there the rest of the day. He was also often very mean-spirited to me, changed his financial advisor because he thought I was in cahoots with her and had stolen a $25,000.00 check he had ordered, which, it turned out, he had sent back to her in the mail, but couldn't remember having done so....and on and on.
I don't know what to tell you except to steal yourself and realize that, besides the alcohol, a person's neurological workings usually do change with age. He will not give up the drinking, he is too old and depressed and probably lonely, but you have to remember, these are his choices. I know it was heartbreaking for me to watch a once virile, slightly vain, very socially active man evolve into an unkempt mess - for wont of a better description - and, as difficult that is to watch, just think what it must be like for your father to look in the mirror.
Just continue to try to have some joy in your life. I was lucky to have met my current husband in this time, and having him around helped a lot. Maybe there are caregiver supportive groups where you are which you could communicate with occasionally so you realize that you aren't the only one going through something like this. I wish you luck and strength.
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I have a similar situation. My dad is alone, three states away, and years ago he lost his dominant hand and arm. My mom left him a year and a half ago. Now he's a one-armed, mean, drug-addicted alcoholic with occasional dementia. His brother still helps when he can, which is somewhat regularly, but he's reaching the end of his caregiving rope too. My father is reacting to me with such rage and violence I can't even talk to him on the phone any more. I think I've "become my mother" in my father's eyes. And I think he realizes that I am most likely the person who will make the call to have him institutionalized, or something, so that's why he is so angry with me. Because Dad used to be very well-loved, because he lost his arm through no fault of his own, I think whenever anything happens that involves the local police, they are as lenient as they can possibly be. Just looking at my dad you can see he's in pain, both physical and emotional, so I think the system keeps ducking the ball. Today it has hit me in a way that it hasn't before. My Dad is gone. All I have left is this temper-tantrum throwing adult-sized three-year old with a driver's license. His doctors tell me they can't protect him from making bad decisions. His doctor is ducking the ball too. The medical profession fed him tons of pills for the pain, did so for years, but then they expect families to cope with the mess they created. If my dad were a dog, any humane person would make the decision to put him down to let him out of his misery. Since he's a human, we let him live in misery and rage, creating more despair in every life he touches.
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Thank you both for your responses. I live about 20 miles away from him but, with traffic/etc., that can take an hour. I also work, cannot quit my job and there is no way on earth I could or even would live with him.
Yes, unfortunately, it will take another "event" for change to occur. I didn't know about the alcoholism a few weeks ago but now I do. Will definitely make sure the healthcare workers know when the time comes.
I will be going by tomorrow. I stop by every once in awhile but we are not getting along and I am getting blamed for things I haven't done. you know the drill. anyway, thanks SO much for the responses!!!
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There are many similarities in your story that I was having to deal with my mum until a year ago when she went into the hospital. She had a fall (alcohol related) but fortunately they also did surgery on her leg for a blockage. To make a long story short she was assessed by an occupational therapist who also noticed her short term memory loss and the conclusion was that mum needed live in care. That is when I quit my job, locked up my home and moved in to my mum's to care for her. She has put on 27lbs (she was underweight before, alcohol is an appetite suppressant), she quit smoking after 50 years and I allow her 2 small glasses of sherry in the evening which she looks forward to. She is no longer lonely so the need and desire to abuse alcohol is not there. She gave up driving 3 years ago .. fortunately.
You may have to make the decision to live with your dad .. ?
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I'm not a fan of 'taking away the car keys' but in your dad's case I think it's vital that he not be driving. If his alcoholism is progressed to the point where he's having DT's he should NOT be getting behind the wheel under any circumstances. It doesn't sound as if you can have a rational discussion with your dad about this so your only recourse might be to take the keys home with you so he can't drive.

At his age he is unlikely to change his behavior, i.e. quit drinking. His drinking is probably the cause of his falling as well. I don't know that there is a solution for you. You may have to just put a Band-Aid on this and hope for the best. While he was in the hospital I'm sure his drinking was discussed. Once he got out 24-hour care was put in place but he's refused that and started drinking again. There's nothing you can do to make him stop drinking.

If he is hospitalized again the Dr. needs to be made aware that he is an alcoholic. He needs to be medicated so that he doesn't have another seizure and to avoid DT's. That's the best you can do for him right now. Please don't make him your responsibility. You think you're going crazy now??

It must hurt you very much to see your dad this way and I know you want to do everything you can to help him but unless he wants to stop drinking there's nothing you can do. It's up to you how often you feel the need to check on him. Check on him, bring him a meal, do some laundry....whatever. But don't take this on because his alcoholism is bigger than you and more important to him than you are. That's the nature of alcoholism. If you can find a way to detach I think that would be very helpful to you. You can be detached and still assist him. And at his age with his drinking habits and the falling down he'll need to be placed in a SNF soon enough. Maybe find a suitable facility for him for when the time comes. Do as much for him as you are psychologically able to and just hope for the best.

(I'm a recovering alcoholic of 16 years)
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