My Mother (79) is an alcoholic and has not seen a doctor in 15 years. What can I do?


My father is an enabler. Can I compel my father to compel my mother to see a doctor? He is not suffering from any medical condition which affects his decision making or thinking. He is sharp and functions well in all areas. He pleads with her but this technique is fruitless. He means well, but thinks that an alcohol detox would be too painful for her after a lifetime of daily heavy drinking.

The responsibility for both of then will fall to me in a few years.

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Thank you so much for your kind responses. This advice is so helpful. I will look into these docs and support services. Thank you! Lotus
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I would make sure that you have the proper documents to allow you to make decisions on behalf of your parents, such as Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare POA. As long as they are competent, even if she is alcoholic, you can't force her to do anything.

I agree with SAhirls1945. I would seek help to deal with being the child of an alcoholic. It's stressful. They can provide you with ways to cope better.
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I don't want to be intrusive but exactly what has made you label your mother an alcoholic? Does she get roaring drunk every day and have blackouts? Does she start in the morning and carry on till she passes out? What happens if she can't get a drink? Does she think she has a problem with drinking? Does she get hangovers and feel ill? And is there any reason she needs to go to the doctor aside from having a check up?
I am a recovering alcoholic and have been sober for twenty years and it was hard but there is always a part of one who knows there is a problem even in a mind fuzzy with booze. Yet there really is a difference between alcoholics and heavy drinkers. You may want to join a group called Alanon which is for the loved ones of alcoholics and get some support.
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Unfortunately, your mom and dad have fallen into a co-dependent pattern in their daily lives that has been years in the making. You are unlikely to change it at this point so be prepared for when you have to care for your parents. You will have no control over either of them.

You can make a plea to your dad to make a plea to your mom to see a Dr. for a physical but if she refuses there's nothing either of you can do. You can't force her to go. If there's going to be any kind of change it will probably take some kind of crisis to bring it about and even then your mom's first priority will always be the bottle.

If your mom does suffer some sort of physical health crisis make sure her Dr. knows that she is an alcoholic so he can treat her for potential alcohol withdrawl. Also keep in mind that while your dad isn't an alcoholic he suffers from your mom's alcoholism as well and has his own illness as a result.
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Your right Lotus it will fall on you and look out, its even worse than you imagined. Me and my hubby knew for the last 20 years that we would probably be the ones that pays dearly for my parents bad judgment. Spot on. And its been like a nightmare that you cant wake up from. So take it from someone who was in your shoes, MAKE PLANS FOR THEM that don't include you as the caregiver. If you don't and you get stuck with the task your in for one heck of a roller coaster ride that you cant get off of. .
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