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Any advice?

The wine could be masking a number of health problems. Has she always had a bottle of wine or is this something new. Only at night? Not that this doesn't mean she can be considered an alcoholic but its kind of weird. Maybe she has a raging hangover until she starts drinking again.

At 80 she probably should be evaluated and some test run. She could be in the first stages of ALZ/Dementia.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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It is a difficult situation. Perhaps like Tothill says she might be less ‘irritable and defensive’ if she has a little earlier in the day, instead of holding out and then bingeing. This might make a good slice of the day easier for her (and you) to manage.

You should definitely check the alcohol content of what she is drinking. Wine can vary from 11 to 15 percent alcohol, and high alcohol wine can have an overwhelming effect if it is drunk quickly. Some people drink down a large glass as if it is water, partly because they are holding out for a drink and they are actually thirsty! You could try her on wine/water combination – it could even be a trade off for starting it earlier in the day.

Perhaps you just accept that she is an alcoholic, be frank about it in public, and try not to be embarrassed about it. Some people have printed cards to hand out explaining that their parent has dementia when embarrassing comments are made to strangers – you could consider something similar. Best wishes.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Alcoholic parents are a challenge. There have been studies and programs lately that look into measured doses of alcohol instead of complete abstinence or allowing binging. What would happen if you doled out the wine starting at lunch time? Allow Mum to get a bit of a buzz with out being obliterated? A small 2 oz glass every hour or two, instead of her downing 24 oz all at once?

Have you talked to her doctor about the drinking? It may interact with medication.

How does she get her wine? Is she able to shop for it, or are you providing it? Is she in your home or in her own? If she is in her own home is she safe there once she starts to drink?

When you say she is embarrassing once she starts to drink, is she in public, around friends and family? Why does her behaviour embarrass you, can you separate yourself from her actions?

My grandmother always had a bottle of Rye beside the kitchen sink with a small juice glass beside it. Throughout the day she would pour in some Rye, top it up with water and down it. I have no idea how long a bottle would last, but I do know there always was one there. In the end when she would no longer drive, family would buy her a bottle. There was no way at 80+ yeas old and dying with Leukemia, she was going to stop drinking. It did get to be less and less as death approached.

I believe that alcoholism can only be managed in the elderly, they are not going to stop drinking after a lifetime of it. It is not easy to see a parents dependence on alcohol, drugs, cigarettes etc. It is even harder to facilitate it.
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Reply to Tothill
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