My father has dementia. I do his grocery shopping. Lately he’s been asking me to buy a bottle of wine. He’s never been an alcoholic but occasionally enjoys a glass of wine while he eats. I believe he has been having hallucinations lately so I can’t see how alcohol could be good for him, but I’m not sure if it would hurt. I will have to ask his new Dr. (his previous Dr. retired).

There's probably less alcohol in a glass of wine that in a shot of NyQuil. Don't know and don't care, really. I don't drink, but my MIL might drive me to it soon.

Speaking of MIL, her PCP recently told her to drink a glass or two of wine after dinner, hoping it would calm her down and help her sleep (anyone following my crazy story with MIL will remember she has not slept since I joined the family in '75) DH went and bought her the wine and she would NOT be seen in a liquor store and we don't have alcohol sold at Costco here in Utah.

It hasn't made her sleepy, she reports, but I think at least it takes the edge off her awful personality. My DH bought her 2 bottles and said to make it last (joking)..he doesn't care if she chugged both bottles.

Back in my GGfather's day, he was also told to take a 'tot of sherry' for his blood every night. That was over 100 years ago.

Haileybug---calm down, OK? Caring for the elderly is NOT a one size fits all. We appreciate your comments, but we're all dealing with so many different issues--
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to Midkid58
haileybug Nov 7, 2020

LOL Haileybug is calm. : )
See 2 more replies
I used to give my mom a small glass of wine, nightly. Yes, she had Alzheimer's. Yes, she was on meds. The doctor knew about this.

Dementia steals so much from them, why not continue with a nightly glass that she enjoyed. And we will all die of something. If drinking the wine has a risk of death then give me more.

If I get dementia, I would rather die sooner than later. And maybe, just maybe, I it hastens deat
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to gladimhere
AlvaDeer Nov 8, 2020
Your response makes me remember my beloved bro and my last visit to the ALF where my Mom was. We walked the halls, and all around us was so much of the long slow slide that my Mom was on, and that is inevitable for us all if we live so long.
We got home together, back to my Mom's place that we were moving her things preparatory to giving up her rooms. Sat together on the sofa having a big glass of wine, and my bro looked at me and said "You know, if I thought that cigarettes would take away one week of my life for every one cigarette smoked, I would take up chain smoking". That good man never did take up smoking, and had to live to 85 facing down Lewy's Dementia.
gladimhere, I am so with you. If I thought that a glass of wine would take away a week for every glass I drank down, you would have to pry the wine bottle out of my cold dead hand.
Thanks for my Saturday morning moment of levity.
When mom moved into Memory Care they gave her a glass a night. When she fell (not because of the wine) and came back from the hospital I worried about the wine with the pain meds. So I bought the little four packs of red wine and large bottle of the wine called Fre which is wine with the alcohol removed. I poured out the real wine from the small bottles and poured the Fre wine into them. She really never noticed the difference. Now that she is recovered, I leave a little “real” wine in the small bottles and fill the rest with the Fre wine. That way she gets some rest benefit from the real wine without too much alcohol and I can leave it fir her to drink when she wants.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to Collant

Is dementia curable? No. Then why would a glass of wine hurt? And yet give temporary pleasure...
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Octogenarian

When my mother in law (a binge alcoholic) was in a nursing home she kept trying to leave to go get a beer. They asked me if it was okay to give her one of those half cans of beer once a day. She loved it, it didn't hurt her (because she could only get one can a day) and everyone was happy. So unless there is a safety or medical reason and you can control the intake then sure.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to whaleyf

Does the alcohol causes him some immediate behavioral change that is problematic? Does he become abusive? Violent? uncooperative? If not, let him enjoy a glass if that is what he wants.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to MsRandall

I would allow him to enjoy some, but don't leave the bottle out for him to access. Pour him half a glass and see what happens. I'd be more worried about him losing his balance if the alcohol makes him tipsy or sleepy. I have seen the NH where my MIL give single-serving containers of wine cooler to their residents.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Geaton777
ArtistDaughter Nov 7, 2020
They give wine to the residents where my mom is too, but only one small glass. I would worry too if my mom wanted wine, which she absolutely never has, because she is already dizzy from medications.
They sell wine "by the glass now". I think they come in "4 packs", so you can take 2 with you, one for dad and one for you :)

Make a little happy hour when you visit.

I am actually thinking about doing that with my LO.. well, maybe just 1 glass split between us ..Not sure how that would effect her.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to MAYDAY
NobodyGetsIt Nov 4, 2020

That's a good suggestion and compromise!
I hope your dad enjoys his glass of wine :)
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to worriedinCali
AlvaDeer Nov 4, 2020
Reminds me of a favorite story.
Back in the day when you had to laboriously write out Doctors orders in about 10 places, one of our Docs, long dead now, was very wordy. More so even than me. Once he wrote out an order for his ancient patient that went somewhat like this:
"Mrs. Feundling has long enjoyed a shot of Wild Turkey at 5 pm. Please supply her with same and chart it on her med sheet. If not available from either pharmacy or cafeteria, please leave the 8th floor, take the elevator to the lobby, exit and walk out the front door. Turn right and cross to the corner liquor story and procure same; charge it to the account of H. Kent Montrose who will likely already have quite the liquor tab at this very establishment".
Names changed to protect the innocent. H. Kent was the hospital administrator. Hee hee. You can bet Grace Feundling got her cocktail, or Dr.C would have known the reason why not.
We almost always were able to give a glass of wine to our elders if they were used to that, and it was OK with their doc. I wonder if that's still done?
My bro's Assisted Living Facility always had a cocktail hour twice a week. Dixie cups. Many brought their own favorite glass.
Again, as with most things, always a good idea to pass these things past the doctor.
Well anyone on here knows my Mom has her 2 glasses of Port every night.. sometimes it goes well and once in awhile she gets loopy! Her FD and her Cardiologist say let it go! She is 90 YO and has not much happiness left. BTW she also smokes about a pack a day, and they have given up on the not smoking issue also! It is what it is,, and if she is happy at 90 YO,, so be it. She is not going to live forever, and believe me she does not want to.. so I just want her happy while she is still here
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to pamzimmrrt
DobermanLover Nov 9, 2020
I gave up on Mom quitting smoking years ago!!! It is what it is...I can't change it and I'm not her parent!!!
See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter