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However, she can't always keep track of time and sometimes starts at noon, and by 4pm she is inebriated. I am afraid of her falling. I tried to talk to her about it and she just got mad and thought I was exaggerating the amount she drank. She is not an alcoholic and I try to keep her distracted but I am stressing about this. Any ideas?

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Depending on her level of dementia, she may not notice substitutes and watered-down drinks. Of immediate concern would be any drug/alcohol reactions and difficult behaviors brought about from too much drinking. Otherwise, moderation.

As an aside: my father, a non-drinker most of his life, usually turned down a glass of wine whenever asked. However, if a glass was poured for him, he'd drink it, ask for more, and drink mine when his was gone (he had dementia). Apparently, as long as he didn't know it was wine, it was fine!
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Debra.... it sounds to me she is alcohol dependant. This will make her dementia worse.
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I'm not really worried about my Mom becoming an alcholic at her age..really! A glass of wine in the evening is her habit, and I and her Dr are ok with this. I would water the booze down if I was worrried, or buy the non alcoholic kind. The bottles look the same. i worry more about me becoming one these days!
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Well, she's still 'with it' enough to know when she's out and to ask me to stop by in our errands to buy some more. And we keep it in our refrigerator, so if I try to hide it until suppertime, she will get mad and think I'm hiding it from her. She's been better lately, after I talked to her about it. And Debralee-I do know about addicts/alcoholics, since I am one (addict) Been clean for 10 1/2 years now. No, no drugs (her) to interfere with the alcohol. I would definitely make sure of that.
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You may not consider your mother an alcoholic now, but habitually drinking leads to addiction. It is also dangerous if drinking and not eating is involved. Hopefully she is not on any anti anxiety or depression medication. Try and make dinner the enjoyable time for wine drinking and keep it out of sight until then. A glass of red wine has more health benefits than white wine as long as you limit the intake to one or two small glasses a day.
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I like sparkling grape juice, but I would have to be totally and completely delusional to mistake it for wine! :-D For one thing, very few wines are sparkling. But I am not opposed to subterfuge to resolve this problem. Just be sure not to try something you'll get caught on the very first time you try it.
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Well, unfortunately the wine can worsen the dementia. My neighbor's mother's dementia progressed rapidly due to her wine addiction. Her dementia got to the point she "forgot" she drank". I would suggest you gradually cut back on the amount she drinks.. and monitor for withdrawal symptoms and end the wine. Also check to make sure the wine does not interact with any medications like coumadin. Everyone is different and based on if she is a fall risk, and her competency . I don't know whats worse a person with dementia or a drunk person with dementia?
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"She is not an alcoholic" Well if she's smashed every afternoon, her doctor might disagree. Plus, this is an expensive habit. I like the idea of watering it down, but if she's a long-term drinker she will know. You might want to attend an Al-Anon meeting, it will help you cope.
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Debra-
Depending on how far along your mom is in the disease, she probably would not realize that the wine she has access to is free of alcohol. I know my mom would not know the difference!
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Veronica I love the idea of pouring the alcohol-free wine into wine bottles. Brilliant! My mom doesn't drink but she loves the sparkling grape juice. Debrakgray, you could try some of that with your mom. You can get it in either white or red. Unless she's a real wine connoisseur, she might not even notice the difference.
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Does she infact live with you or is she still safe living alone. Is she using the alcohol to self medicate for pain or depression. 1- 2 glasses of wine a day is the recommended limit in most cases and make them small glasses so the amount looks larger. Has this been a lifelong habit? Does she have a way of getting her own supply? Maybe try substituting a lite beer, perhaps substituting an alcohol free wine. You can pour the fake stuff into a genuine wine bottle. Is she substuting wine for food? Does alcohol interact negatively with any of her medications?
I would not try and stop her completely because it is something she can still enjoy. Let us know how you get on.
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My husband's doctors both said to limit his intake to 2 drinks a day, and to cut that if it made his balance or any other symptoms worse.

Since we lived together it was very easy for me to control how much he got. And since he was never going to have more than 2 glasses I decided not to worry about when he had them. A beer at 10:30 am was no better or worse for him than a beer at 3:30 pm, and timing was one less rule to impose on him.

When we went out for lunch at a German restaurant, he always had an imported beer. It made him feel "normal" and adult. He usually had wine if we went out for dinner. At home he might have a beer watching a ball game, or wine with a meal. But he never drank one beer after another all day long.

I wonder if it would help to have a "cocktail hour" before dinner? Maybe late afternoon stop and sit with her and have wine and crackers and cheese or sardines or radishes or some little nibbler. You drink wine or the beverage of your choice with her. If it becomes a nice little shared ritual it might be easier for her to accept "wait for cocktail hour" when she asks for wine.

If she prefers to help herself to wine instead of being served, limit the amount that is accessible to a reasonable day's worth. (For example, 2 glasses = 10 ounces.) Then whether she drinks it all between 12 and 12:30 or has a glass with lunch and one with dinner, it really won't matter.

I would not allow unlimited access to wine. And I would ask her doctor to set a reasonable daily limit, if that has not happened.
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How is she getting the wine that she is drinking? For her own safety, it should not be made available to her. My grandfather started drinking heavily in his early eighties and as a family we had to all agree not to help him buy any alcohol. He was not able to carry a bottle of wine home from the store without help. He did not have dementia but he had other health conditions that did not mix with drinking alcohol. My dad (88) enjoyed one glass of wine with dinner but was able to give it up when his doctor told him no alcohol. Perhaps her doctor would be the best person to talk to her about drinking alcohol, while you do all you can to limit her access to it.
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Since your mom lives with you are you able to monitor her alcohol intake? Don't let her start drinking at noon. If she would like a glass of wine with dinner or right before bed that's probably ok but it would depend upon what kind of medications she takes at bed time. And as you wrote, becoming inebriated will catch up with her and land her squarely on the floor one of these days. Hide the bottle if you have to and pour her a glass with dinner.
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