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How to get my aging mother's doctor to address what appears to be possible complications due to years of alcohol abuse. My mother is 80 years old and continues to insist on being the primary care giver of medications to my 84 years old father (with Parkinson's and other cardiology issues). Over the past 6 month specifically my mother has demonstrated many symptoms of what could be alcoholic dementia or other more serious conditions as a result of years of alcohol abuse.


My Concerns:
1. I am concerned for the medical safety and health of my father as he has been hospitalized 3 times in less then 3 months due to my mother's tapering of medications that my father's physician has prescribed.
2. I am equally as concerns for my mother safety and health as she has experienced falling episodes and is demonstrating - very significant signs of Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome


I fear that my mother needs to have her doctor admit her to the hospital for full evaluation of her current health status.


What can I do as a concerned daughter in this situation?



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Well, now that it has gone to a full-blown APS case, the GP will not respond. Let APS handle it, talk to the investigators if you can.
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If discharge planning is alerted to the fact that the "caregiving" at home is not adequate, they would strongly recommend that the patient be cared for elsewhere, or that additional caregivers be brought in. It's my understand that these days, Medicare won't pay for readmission for the same issue within a certain number of days, so it's in the best interests of the hospital to solve the problem.

Do your parents share a doctor? If your father has a different treating physician, I'd inform HER/HIM in writing as well that your father's physical issues are not being treated adequately at home.

The nice thing about notifying doctors in writing, is that, as mandated reporters, they are obligated to do someone about unsafe conditions. That may not be anything more than notifying APS, but the more ammunition APS has, the more likely they are to act. They might, for example, ask for a family member to get guardianship of your father.
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Babalou makes a good point in that the hospital has social workers and discharge planners who can, behind the scenes, and w/o your mother's knowledge, alert the treating hospital doctors to your mother's alcoholic behavior and how it might have impacted your father's condition.

I honestly don't know what they'd do from there, perhaps may have a frank discussion with your mother. But they might also add in the discharge orders advice that your mother also see a specific type of physician.

If her own doctor isn't open to your concerns, find another doctor. If you have to, contact Al Anon and ask if they can recommend specific doctors who treat patients with alcoholism. Maybe you could even get your mother into a treatment center for help.
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It's good that APS now has a record of your mom's inappropriate care of your dad. Another source of help would be the social workers and discharge planners at the hospital, should dad end up there again.
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Ironically APS in NYS was notified last week of the actions of my mother, specifically tapering with the meds for my father. The consequences resulted in the hospitalization once again of my father.

Thank you I had not actually considered the option of formally writing to my mothers GP (doctor) but will strongly consider this action after consulting with my siblings.
Many thanks for your recommendations.
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Send your concerns in writing to her doctor, certified mail.

You might also call APS and discuss your concerns.
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