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She became the POA for her widowed Mom when her mother moved to be near her. I live across the country but care deeply for both my friend and her mother. My friend seems so depressed and I think she is using wine as a pain killer. So many of the things she tells me just can't be true! Perfect example of someone in lala land. Are there any observations or questions I could look for to understand the difference between a person with dementia or just drunk? And if it really is dementia, it is becoming worse and worse.

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Mishka,
This is the same friend I was writing about today. Linda...
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Sand56, Thank you so much for that terrific information.
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conzzie, were you able to get in touch with RSVP in Richmond, VA?
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Thoughts to Ponder.

Your friend abuses alcohol, is probably an "alcoholic" and may be suffering from
alcohol dementia that is often caused by b-1, thiamine, vitamin deficiency. The body does not absorb nutrients that may lead to temporary or permanant brain damage. Husband is "secretive" or is he an " enabler"?. Six weeks in the hospital or may possibilty be six weeks in a alcohol detox program?

Alcohol encephalopothy is brain damage caused by excessive alcohol use. Unfortunately, excessive alcohol consumption may lead to early dementia.
There is a disease called Wernicke/Kosinoff-( google Drexell University College of Medicine) that describes the symptoms in detail. The earliest stage of the disease is Wernicke and symptoms may be reversed over time but requires abstinance. Kosinoff is not reversable. Symptons may include: inability to form new short term memories, loss of memory, making up stories-Confabulation or seeing or hearing things that are not there-Hallucinations. Sounds familiar from your comments. The list goes on.

Friend and brother in law were both admitted to the hospital with life threatening medical emergencies. Both were malnourished, had b-1 vitamin deficiency, alcoholics and given medication to detox so did not have sezuires or DTs. In-house alcohol programs were recommended (six weeks, six months) Both live in upper class burbs, 70 year old female Chardonnay drinker and 54 year old Vodka drinker. Well dressed, affluent, well mannered, and not the profile?. Guess what they are the profile. Both spouses were and are secretive. ENABLERS

You see where I am going with this. You are a caring friend but it is evident that your friend does not want to address the issue, maybe in denial and she has told you that this is not your concern. Sounds like her husband is unable or unwilling to deal with this issue directly. Not much you can do for her at this point.

Unfortunately, I suspect that the situation will continue to deteriorate. You mentioned that your friend has stomach issues and vomits. So did my brother -in-law, had an acute pancreatitis attack (common with alcohol abuse), horrific symptoms and excrutiating pain. In and out of the hospital for close to a year and almost died. Not a pretty picture.

You are kind and caring. I am also a kind and caring person and in both cases tried to intervene. Not appreciated. In both cases, the personalities have changed. More Selfish, combative and frankly no longer nice friends or human beings. What do they have in common. Alcohol brain damage. Sad but very true.

Spouses are enablers, both in different ways and for different reasons. Little has changed . The enablers lives have been adversely impacted and both are in pain and unhappy. They continue to enable their spouses by covering up for their spouses behavior and deficiencies. Major medical issues are also present including treatment for lung and met- brain cancer. So sad, depressing and the beet goes on...

Again, not much you can do and believe me Mishkam suggestion regarding Notes
is right on. "Notes are forever and can bite you in the future". Whatever you decide we will be thinking of you - please keep us posted. Best- Sand 56
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conzzie,
Informatin for RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program)

I think you can find out more at www.getinvolved.gov but not sure I did the hyperlink correctly.
And any of you who need some respite time, try finding the RSVP for your state and then the nearest office to you. The have a whole program called Senior Companions.
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conzzie,
question...does your mother get moody, mean, angry, unpleasant...when she has had the 6 pack?
If it is no, then maybe let her continue!
there are some anti-depressants and antii-anziety meds that may be just right for her.
Sounds like she is really trying to adjust. I've never seen a grandchild that was trying to help where it actually worked out. Even if they are sweet and really want to do the best for the grandparents, the age difference is just too great. And if the grandchild is a user...well, that is disasterous!
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Richmond is a fabulous city! My great grandparents were from there. I love all the history and it really has a super library for genealogical research.
And, that leads me to one other suggestion for your mom. Get her to do an "oral history". Find a recorder and start writing down questions..such as "describe what Christmas was like when you were a child" "What is your first memory?" what sports did you enjoy playing when young? How old were you when you started dating. Do you remember your first dance? What did you wear? What was your school like?
Get her to think back and record the memories now. It would engage her mind and free you up some as she could do a great deal of the dictation by herself.

Maybe suggest "Mom, you have had such an interesting life! How about working on a book about that life?" Maybe pull out a box of old photos and let her describe those she knows about.
Sometimes smells jolt memories. I made watermellon rind pickles a few years ago and included a jar in a gift box to my parents. My dad called and said "I haven't had these pickles since my mother made them. You added cinnamon to the flavorings, didn't you" that was how the taste buds remembered 70 years a pleasurable taste/time.
If you do this, try to avoid painful times unless she really wants to "go there".
There are lots of ways to do these oral interviews. do you think that is something she would like?
If she is interested, maybe go to the Historical /Society Library and let her see some of the items they have...that would remind her of her earlier times.
Get her talking and thinking.

Good luck! If she wants to write a book (the two of you could do it!) you can easily get it published by using CreateSpace.com. If you get that far, I can suggest some really nice pals that know all about how to do that for less than $50.
Bonnie
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Bonnie,
Thanks for the helpful information. I am checking the phone book and internet now for some organizations that I might get my mother involved in. Mom and I walk each day. A couple of times around the block. She enjoys watching Christian programing on TV and we work puzzles together or play cards once in a while as well. Mom was being taken care of by her grandaughter . After a couple of visists my sister and I realized it was not working out. My neice was really taken advantage of mom. Mother was paying all the bills and Carrie was living there for nothing. To make a long story short her and her friends destroyed moms home. Mom began drinking to put up with all the partying going on. The family didn't realize what was going on until it was to late. We lived about 8 hoursaway and when we would plan a visit she would always know and things would look ok. It took a couple of surprise visits to get the real picture. Needless to say i brought mom here to live with me. I live in Richmond, va which is a large city and I am sure I can find something for mom to do. Thanks for all the suggestions and I hope things turn out well for your friend. Thanks for being there and just listening to me. It helps to vent somethime.
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I think you really get it Joan. Did I mention that L was my next door neighbor growing up? also, she married my Survivor's Assistance Officer after my husband David was KIA in Vietnam. So...we obviously all go back pretty far!
In addition to the alcohol, L has a family history of dementia. Her mother has some sort of it. (no alcohol from her line). And I don't know the difference between dementia and just some kind of nervous breakdown? or just crazy stuff? L has been under a great deal of pressure with her mom and feeling very depressed for the past two years.
And as you can see, the biggest worry I have is having L left home alone. I called her today (one week being out of hospital) and she was back to throwing up, not eating and light headed. Still sleeping downstairs. Her husband left her with clothes and ginger ale aplenty as he went out of town on business and won't be back until Thursday. She really shouldn't be left alone but what can I do?
Yes, you are so right that I am grieving over the loss of a wonderful and talented person. She was so "there" for me when I lost David, even took the summer off from college just to be with me. It is so ironic that she needs me now and I can't help. L was in her final stages of finishing her PhD in psychology (of all things, focused on dementia!) when she just couldn't get her act together to finish the thesis even though she passed her orals. This mental decline has come on so suddenly, over the last year, mainly.
No plans to go to MD soon.
Right now I'm focusing on getting applications for scholarships/grants...to see all these high school teachers who love teaching and just need some extra funds for special projects is inspiring. Loads of good vibes, too! It off-sets my sadness over L to be able to provide some people with very good $$$ news!

thanks again, Joan. I do hear you and will take your advice. I may try to locate the paper you mentioned to send along with the Veteran information...but then, her husband may find that invasive in itself. Darn it, she needs accurate diagnoses and early meds to help treat the disease or at least slow it down.
Again, thank you.
Bonnie
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Hi Bonnie, I have been following your posts. To me it sounds like you friends has developed some dementia, probably caused by alcoholism. However, regardless of the cause, it looks like there is little you can do to help her, considering her and her husband's attitudes.
This is a quote "Heavy use (of alcohol)increases the risk of developing VaD (vascular dementia) and alcohol related dementia (ARD), but not AD.(Alz) from a paper called "The Association Between Alcohol
Use and Dementia in the Elderly" by Karl Farcnik, BSc, MD, FRCPC and Michelle Persyko, PsyD, CPsych.
My father was a heavy drinker and developed what is now called vascular dementia, but really did not get treatment till he was institutionalized, by which point it had progressed significantly. If your friend's health comes to a point that she can no longer live at home but needs to go into an institution, she may be able to get the help she needs. No doubt, after that last hospital stay her husband has pretty good knowledge of what is going on. However, it seems neither he nor she wants your help, so I think your hands are tied. Addictions are evry difficult to deal with.

What I see is that you are going through stages of grieving over your friend's condition, and the loss of relationship that us happening and the likely continued loss. Honestly, I would concentrate on yourself and dealing with your feelings, By all means make a trip and visit your friend, and/or her mother, but I doubt that it is realistic to expect that you can make much difference to her health. You might try checking out Alanon literature, as it could help you deal with the situation.

I feel for your loss - it is horrible to watch a loved one choose to self destruct. (((((((hugs)))))) and blessings Joan
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conzzie,
What is your Mother's day like? How active is she? I don't know about a 6-pack but that strikes me as alot, particularly if she isn't out and about getting lots of exercise to run off the buzz. If you think any alcohol is bad for her, then discuss it with her doctor. It may be that he gives her meds that help discourage alcohol. has she been drinking at this rate for years? or just recently? Are you driving her to drink?:)
Glad the "I agree, Yes Mom" is at least getting a small change in her actions. Keep it up!
Do you live in a rural area or close to a city? It really is important for you to have some significant respite time. There must be volunteer organizations out there to help. Here we have Catholic Charities that are wonderful about having weekly care so the caregiver can get away. This may be the case with individual churches, as well.
In our area we have a program I know very little about...but...R.S.V.P is a non-profit that helps seniors as well as younger adults find a good place for volunteering. If you have a senior center or can call one, they may be able to tell you about such services in your area.
The LDS church (Mormans) have lots of help available. The missionaries are required to spend a good amount of time each week providing community service. When they do that, they do not "preach"or try to get you to accept their religion. maybe you can find some help from some of these sources.
Keep the faith! Bonnie
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Hi Bonnie,
Thanks for your answer to my question about my mom. You are very helpful. I hae today just agreed with her when she ask me her questions and it did seem to help with the constant questioning.. I am making a appointment with her doctor to discuss some new meds he has put her on to see if they do made have had a effect on her. Her drinking is still about the same and I have mixed the wine and cut her beer to one six pack a day. My poor mother it is so sad to see her like this. I think I need to find someone who could give me a break maybe once a week for a few hours to help keep my sanity. Wish me luck and I will keep you informed.
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I love the quote from your Mom about putting stuff in writing!- "open court"-- very wise! What you said you would include in the note sounds good to me. It sounds compassionate without judgment and kind without condescension.
It is scary to think your friend is left alone. Her husband needs to realize that there is a problem. I know how hard it can be to convince a husband that his wife is "off". My Dad is very stubborn about admitting how much help my Mom needs and how bad off ( for lack of a better phrase) she is. I think he feels if he admits it that it is real but if he ignores it it is not. But in the mean time my Mom is suffering ( not abuse, mind you, just not enough care IMO). I wonder if your friend's husband feels the same way. It can be hard to admit that there is a life changing problem. But he has to face this. You are a good friend to take this on.
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Thanks...I would most certainly have a one on one with her husband if only I could get my hands on him! He will not talk with me about L, I don't know if it is denial or just being protective of her privacy. As I live in Seattle and they are in the DC area, we are really far apart!
My original idea of writing him was to suggest medical treatment for L. Yet now that she has been to the hospital, I think he is aware of her condition...whether it is Early Dementia or alcoholism or both.
A great concern for L. is her husband travels a good deal on business. Leaving her home alone for several days is really worrisom as she is within easy walking distance to liquor stores. And as I've said, she sounds so very normal that one would not detect a problem unless it is a long conversation which produces conflicting memories...like, how did you get to the hospital...
She gets very confused about serious things, like...Hey L. is your husband home? No, he is in Chicage and gets back tomorrow night. OK...
Then in a few minutes she tells me he is upstairs on a confrence call...a bit later I hear him in the background coming in the front door and saying, Hi, I'm home.
Now all of this is crazy! Most of her conflicting notions seem to revolve around having someone there with her...or not. Like believing her mother was there when she was needed to go to the hospital...Or her tale of her mom calling 911, or her thought that her husband called 911 after he was tired of seeing her throw up...or that her husband drove her to the hospital or that her husband was out of town when her mother called 911 and her husband only got back to town late that night when he came to the hospital. All of those have been her description of how she came to be in the hospital. I'm pretty sure the ambulance/911 is correct as she told me that she came by ambulance when I first spoke to her...all these other scenarios came a few days later. Beats me.
What I don't know is if her husband is aware of these sort of conflicts. One would think so but then he really is gone a great deal and as I've said, she is very believeable sounding.
Thanks for your kind insight about writing. (my mom always says "Don't put anything in writing you don't want read in open court) I do need to send him information on the Veteran's benefits for his MIL. My note might be something along the lines of....It was a concern yet a relief to learn that L. had been in the hospital for her stomach flu as I have been really worried about her recently. As you know, we talk about every day and I've noticed she seems to be confused often or "in the dark" about what is going on. She told me "I'm losing my mind" and was not joking, Did the doctors find a diagnosis for her condition?
I love her like a sister and am willing to help you and her in any way I can. Just let me know if there is anything I can do ... or not do.

Maybe just knowing I am aware of something wrong will give him some support. I don't know. All I can do is try.

Thanks so much for your very helpful post and your genuine kindness. I do appreciate it greatly.
Bonnie

something like that.
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Hi Bonnie, I just read up on your posts. I have to say I am glad your friend went back to the hospital -it sure sounds like she has something more than just alcoholism. I wonder if she has had a stroke or strokes. This can leave one with dementia. Her drinking may have put her at a risk for strokes ,too, if I am not mistaken.
Be careful about the note to her husband. Notes are forever and can bite you in the future. Not that I don't think you should communicate with your friend's husband but just be careful. Is there any way you could make an in person visit? Maybe make some time to meet privately with the husband to discuss your friend's situation? That sounds kinda sneaky but if your friend in unable and unwilling to take care of herself you may have to resort to some sneaky tactics for her benefit, IMO. Good luck to you -and conzzie-you, too!
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Man...it is a tough road for you and your familly. Has her doctor been informed about the alcohol use? Any help from the doc. suggesting treatment? Has the doc. told her NO alcohol? If you can't control the drinking, maybe do the old English trick of "watered wine", half water, half wine. Maybe that way you could ease her off without her noticing very much? Does she get around your house and fix her own meals, glasses of wine or beer? It is also hard to tell about this confusion and TIAs and memory when they all merge together, don't you think?
As far as answering her questions about her house and all that, I'd propbably just say what you think she wants to hear as she will forget she asked anyway. Arguing with a person just doesn't help, does it? From your description, she may have that "sundowners" which means she gets more confused toward evening time. Is that the case with your mom?
There is an old movie, something like Trip to Bountiful or such. It was about a MIL that just wanted to go to her childhood home in Bountiful. It was pretty good as the movie showed the desire to return to the youth and yet the acceptance that the past is the past. If your mother likes movies, maybe she could watch it? And maybe other old movies she may remember. That is if she watches movies!

I'm no expert here, which is why I've been asking questions! But it does seem to me that you aren't really going to get through to her with facts, so just say, Oh Mom, you'll be going home later, we just want you to visit for awhile...something like that. Another friend who happens to be a doctor has a daughter with alcohol issues, so I turned to her to see what to say or do with my friend L. She said not to confront her and just let it go if I had no control over it. Did you ever see the movie "50 first dates"?

If her mind is just not working right, maybe it is time to see the doctor for evaluation again? Does she get angry and fussy? If the doctors have diagnosed her with mild dementia, then have you noticed if the dementia is worse lately or about the same over the 14 months?
Sure hope you can find some relief from all the stress of all the repeated questions. Reminds me of a child who just won't give it up!
The old phrase is probably true, If you continue to respond in the same manner, then why would you expect any change. So, change what and how you reply and see what she does. Is that reasonable? Let me know what you think.
Bonnie
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My mom has lived with me for 14 months. Since being here she had a TIA after about the first two months. She is suffering from mild dementia and she drinks alot. St least one 6 pk a day or one bottle of wine.(Which i HAVE CUT WAY BACK she was drinking more when I first brough her here.) Now she has begun to be very confused. She wants to know when she is leaving, how she got here, where her car is ( hasnot driven in over 10 yers no car) Her house was sold when we brought her here to live with me. She ask me these same questions at least 25 times a day. It's driving me crazy any suggestions???? I talk to her in a low tone and try to explain how things are now, but you can tell the light bulb just isn't on
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For any that have followed my concern for my friend, L...Well, she was back in the hospital for a week. Still not sure what the diagnosis turned out to be, but when she got home she was still confused.

I have a plan to write a note to her husband as I am sending information for some assistance with his MIL. Any suggestions of what I can say? I don't know what to say to him. In my phone conversations she sounds ever so much better and you'd think she was back to "normal" but she starts giving different stories that just can't be true (her mother drove her to the hospital...not possible as her mother is bed bound at the nursing home). That's what I mean by confusion. It would appear she has nothing alcoholic in the house and after the stay in the hospital she had to have had the alcohol out of her system (if it were in her system!). There was a report on our news station that there is a new test for ALZ to catch it very early on. Wish I could remember the name and wish my friend could have that test done...Anyway, if anyone has any ideas for what I could say in my letter to her husband, please let me know! Thanks, Bonnie
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Thanks, the "dry" period was when she was in the hospital, then home where she couldn't drive to get wine. Not sure what the diagnoses was for her hospital stay, she said she was dehytrated and something else. Her husband thought she was going to die, or so she tells me. The one time I did get a chance to talk with her husband was when I was leaving their house and he walked me to my car. This was after the hospital but before her birthday mentioned earlier...She was telling me her cousin (my age, meaning over 65) just had a baby! She was so excited and gave great details of how the couple (her cousin and husband) had tried so hard for so long and here is the baby! Now, I know her cousin and there was absolutely no way she would have had a baby. Lynn was really confused and timie warped. She was telling about a time when the cousin & family had visited Lynn and family for Thanksgiving...well, I asked about ages and sure enough, she was talking over 30 years ago and she was saying it was just 2011 Thanksgiving. Anyway, she obviously had some serious confusion which led to long term memory ok but short term pretty bad. She said it was due to the medicines prescribed that made her foggy. Back to her husband, as I was leaving I asked him if she has been "like this" and he said "you think this is odd, you should have heard her in the hospital!" From that, I know he is aware of some problem. What I meant about acting "the same w/o drink" referred to the times when she could not drink but taking pills and then her b'day when she stopped the pills and started back on wine.
And you are right about being a secretive family, which is so different than how she was brought up/
I'm starting to guess that her husband has taken her to a doctor fairly recently (abt. a month ago?) as she did complain that he goes into the doc's office with her.

Guess it is true that I am not in a position to really "do" anything about her or her mother. Just wish I knew if she did have some dementia issue, there are meds that may be helpful if started soon. W/out knowing the diagnosis (if any) they may be wasting time by not getting some treatment plan going. Who knows...one thing for sure, drinking alcohol doesn't help!

Thanks very much. I feel ever so much better knowing other people at least care. Thanks folks!
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Six weeks is a very long time to stay in a hospital! Do you know what that diagnosis was? This seems to be a highly secretive family!

She certainly needs to see the doctor again. If her husband cannot insist that she go, I don't see what hope you have. If the doctor told her not to drink, then clearly drinking is not good for her. Whether that is the cause of all her befuddlement is hard to say, when you say she seems the same whether she is drinking or not. On the other hand do you really know when she is not drinking? How could you tell from such a distance. She may have told you she hadn't been drinking between the hospital stay and her birthday, but ... ??

I don't know how you can help if she won't let you into her life, except be there for her and step in if she is ready for you.
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Well...Lynn (I'll call my friend) was her POA and next of kin. Lynn's mom, Mary had some mental health issues, probably a stroke or two that impared her logical brain, for example, when Mary lived in rural VA in the home she and deceased husband built, she had several "episodes" that included trying to burn the house down, running around outside naked etc. I was with Lynn and her mother one time and Mary was really nuts, thinking magazines were speaking to her, radio was talking to her...so on and so forth. After several hospital stays near her home in VA, Lynn finally insisted Mary move up to the DC area and found a very nice AL place near Lynn's home. Mary has improved mentally but is very unhappy being away from her old friends and family. Mary has just given up and into refusing to do what the PT folks say, etc. After last hospital trip, the AL place would not have her back so she is in a nursing home. All along, Lynn has been somewhat "angry" at her mother for causing Lynn so much trouble. This has all happened in the last four years. I have had a good relationship with the AL staff (I visit my family in the area at least once a year, for about 6 weeks at a time and always see Lynn and her mother several times during my stay at my mother's house). Mary has always perked up and chatted with me each time I've visited.

Lynn is 63. She does drink wine daily and this stomach flu is probably real, meaning something is going wrong in her tummy. No way of telling. Her husband is "on her" to go to the doctor but she refuses. When I try and urge her to get some medical help, she flatly says to stay out of her business! I have to back off on talking about drinking or she will not talk with me. It's really tough being so far away. What is GERD? Lynn says she is only drinking ginger ale (she was out of wine) and still throwing up. I don't know. She told me she only drank ginger ale on Christmas Eve and yet her daughter said Lynn had 5 glasses of wine in the two hours she was there visiting. And oddly, she doesn't sound drunk on the phone but what she tells me is impossible or at least it seems impossible. She'll tell me the same thing over and over except the story will change. One time she called me saying she was locked out of her house because she grabbed the wrong set of keys to the car. Her husband was out of town on business and not due back for two days. She didn't have the right keys for the car and the house key was an old one from before she changed locks. This was in dead of winter and no heat in the garage. She called me severall times from her cell not knowing what to do. I know she was in that car at least 2 hours. Now, here's the example...about 3 hours into the locked door/wrong car keys, I called and found her inside the house! How did you get in? Oh, G, her husband, came and opened the front door of the house. What??? thought he was out of town...well, guess her reply...Ummm, maybe he told me to try the front door? Then she tells me again about changing the locks on the doors but must have only changed the garage/laundry room door as the key did fit the front door. About two minutes later she told me she had the right keys and drove to the liquor store and bought wine. Some time later that day I called her again to check on her and she then told me she must not have put the key in correctly as that key did work the door...and "when she got inside the house she just went to bed as she was so cold" I asked about the wine store and she said she didn't remember going to the liquor store. About two minutes later, she was drinking the wine and forgot she was ever locked out! These are the crazy thinigs I keep hearing. And at no time did she slur words or other things that make one think she was drunk. If I ever "challenge" her on stories, she gets defensive and just says she doesn't remember.
What is also odd is this...last year in about April-May her husband took her to the doctor and the doc. sent her straight to hospital where she stayed for over 6 weeks. When she got home she was restricted from wine or driving. Her husband stayed home with her for several days before he had to go back to work. I was there when she was "home" and visited her several times. By late June she had been w/o wine for several months. Her birthday is late June. I took her to lunch and damned if she didn't order wine...not one glass but several. I asked her not to but she insisted. I said, I'm not buying you wine and she said for the waiter to put the wine on a separate bill. BTW, I had iced tea. I've never had wine with Lynn since her hospital episode. the really odd thing is this...she was no different when she was NOT drinking than when she was drinking. She still had these crazy ideas and changed stories.

well, I've gone on and on, sorry! Thanks for listening!
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Just a though. If she is drinking wine daily and throwing
Up daily, I'd say it is alcohOl abuse. She may have GERD caused
From too much wine daily. Alcohol kills brain cells.
What is her age? Is she her mOms caregiver? Stress can make you
Spacey and kind of dingy.
She is lucky to have you.
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OMG, you are so kind to offer your ideas, hopes, and your offer of personal experience. You are really a dear person, I can tell.

1st, Her mother has some form of something that keeps her moving from home to assisted living to current nursing home. I don't know what is dragging her down.

2nd. It is so darn difficult for me to contact her family as she was an only child and had only one child (a daughter who doesn't think anything but wine is her mom's problem).

I know for sure my friend needs immediate attention from a doctor. She is going to kill herself with the abuse to her body. she has a heart pacemaker, as well as this mixed message of dementia and alcohol. Odd as it may sound, but she tells me she is throwing up daily and yet...she is glad she is losing weight! Beats the Dickens out of me. Her husband is so darn private! And her daughter acts indiffernt at best. Her Mom is such a sweet woman.. I just hate hearing about this nice family coming to a rocky end.
Thanks for your concern. I really appreciate it more than I can tell you. Your ideas and suggestions are just wonderful while your comopassion comes through these lines. I've been reading all I can about the variances of dementia and AL...so difficult to tell, as you know. Thanks again and please keep in touch! Bonnie
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This is a tough one to deal with long distance! It is admirable that you want to deal with it for the sake of both your friend and her mother.

In the early stages of his dementia my husband's symptoms were similar to being drunk. I had the advantage of being with him 24/7 and knowing exactly what and how much he drank. He seemed drunk but I knew for certain that he wasn't.

Is her mother cognitively fine? If she does not have dementia herself could you call her and chat with her a while and then also ask about her daughter? She hasn't seemed herself to you when you've talked to her on the phone. Has Mom noticed anything going on?

Also, do you have any mutual friends where your friend lives? Could you talk to them about possibly having coffee or lunch with her and reporting back to you how she seems to be?

Even if your friend "only" has depression, that is serious and should be treated. Do you think you could talk her into seeing a doctor on that basis?

Sorry that I can't come up with a telephone test to determine dementia vs drunk. :( But I hope you can learn a little more through others and be there for your friend, whatever is behind her behavior.

We should all have caring friends like you!
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