How do we get my 82 yr old dad into rehab?

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He has always been a drinker, but I guess he either hid the extent of it well, or it has gotten dramatically worse. My dad is now up to, on average, close to a quart of scotch per day. Several yrs ago, we noticed that he was becoming more and more forgetful, and feared that it was the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. He has seen numerous drs, including neurologists, who have diagnosed him w/ dementia. Not sure if it's purely alcohol induced, but my guess is that it is. The drs all acknowledge that he drinks way too much, but do not offer any concrete suggestions for treatment. I KNOW that a person must acknowledge their addiction and want help in order for treatment to work, but I honestly do not think that my dad is capable of thinking clearly enough to reflect and realize there is a problem; his short-term memory, especially when he is drunk, may only be several minutes long, if that. We have tried interventions and even got him to visit the local ER (my brother spoke to a nurse in admissions and he agreed that it sounded like our dad could be a danger to himself, and therefore a candidate for treatment) but they turned us away because he wasn't exhibiting any withdrawal symptoms. A clinician from my parents' insurance company that I spoke with stated that a person must be actively in withdrawal in order to be admitted to a detox facility, and then, if necessary, rehab. Is this true? My dad must be in danger of dying in order to get help?? My mom, siblings, and I are at out wits' end. In our experience, there has been a total lack of concern and resources, and we feel as if we're in a maze with all dead-ends and no way out. Add to that my worry that if we do manage to have him admitted somewhere that there aren't any decent places, especially ones that are knowledgeable about and sympathetic to the needs of the elderly. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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My dad had the same issue with alcohol. I know that alcohol can permanently damage memory in the brain (mostly short term memory) in a syndrome called Wernicke Korsakoff . My dad fortunately did not have that, but liver damage, renal failure and neurological impairment. It took him a major fall with hospital stay to dry out. Then a year later another hospital stay after starting drinking again and thankfully they noticed atrial fibrillation this time that was depriving his brain of oxygen and causing the neuro impairment. The heart trouble scared him and he has been alcohol free for over a year. It sucks, but it can take a major health crisis to get him to the hospital and the help he needs. My dad never would have gotten help via AA. It is not easy to watch this play out in slow motion.
Carol
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Of course he wasn't showing signs of withdrawal....he still had alcohol in his system. For withdrawal to happen the alcoholic has to stop drinking. When brought to the hospital, the staff should test his blood alcohol level and keep him there till it is 0.0 at which point he WILL begin withdrawal (shaking, anxiety etc). DO NOT keep him in a room and attempt to detox him yourself. ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL IS DEADLY. Once seizure and he will be gone. Alcohol is the only "drug" where the detox is deadly. Once he begins withdrawal the hospital will send him to a detox where they will put him on a protocol (drug treatment) to reduce the chance of seizures and monitor his health. This process typically takes 5 days.

He will not automatically then be put into rehab. An alcoholic must choose to go to rehab. As another poster said you cannot help an alcoholic that does not want to stop drinking. If he doesn't want rehab he will probably leave the detox and begin drinking again, which can be very dangerous. After a detox his tolerance will be significantly lower. His ability to drink large quantities will be diminished putting him at risk for alcohol poisoning.

Attend Al-Anon. Stop enabling him. Let him hit rock bottom and CHOOSE to get help, its the only way he will stop.
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This brings to mind a friend's husband who was an alcoholic and then had a stroke. Both were in their 80s at the time. He was bedridden and unable to get any booze and his wife certainly wasn't about to supply it.

At first he was a beast. One evening I was a guest for supper and when his wife left the room the man begged me to help him die.

But eventually he settled down and cooperated with rehab efforts, making good progress. He remained alive for about two years after the stroke and seemed to be decent company for his wife for the first time in memory.

What worked here is sorting out the alcoholism from the stroke disability. Addiction muddies the waters no matter what else is going on. So, of course you feel (and are) powerless in this situation. Blessings to you to find a healthy perspective. I've heard good things from people who turn to Al Anon for help with this.
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I had a patient who was like your dad once. If he has dementia, how is he getting the alcohol in which to drink without someone supplying him with it (the enabler). Alcohol does not "cause" dementia, however, it sure as hell will give you cirrohsis of the liver and he cannot live without a liver detoxing the alcohol. Both diseases are terminal, so you can keep supplying the booze, or dry him out in a locked room yourselves, get him into a facility who will take him, and then deal with the dementia. He may be trying to die and you may have to let him do what he wants since you cannot seem to get him help in your town. If you placed him in a secure care unit for dementia, he really would not have access to alcohol. I guess it all depends on how strong an advocate your family is going to be fighting these two terminal conditions. My best to all of you.
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I am an alcoholic. I haven't had a drink in 10 years. My family are all alcoholics. Save yourself the heartache. You can't help an alcoholic, who is not ready to stop. You need AL Anon. Google it. Start going to meetings. Stop enabling his behavior. I know you won't do any of this. But when you have exhausted yourself trying to find a solution, Al Anon is the answer. Good luck
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