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Mom is 88 years old and a long time alcoholic. She is almost blind and uses a walker because she broke her hip twice and still lives alone in a regular apartment. She complains about how tired she is but still walks a mile (each way) to buy liquor even in winter when the roads and sidewalks are covered by snow. Sometimes she falls in the street.


She won't ask anyone to pick it up for her, because she knows that we think she is an alcoholic. I have refused to buy it for her before, but now I don't know if I should start.


She is risking her life by walking to the liquor store and has ended up in the hospital because she falls in the street. She won't use a car service or ask anyone to drive her. She will let us order regular groceries through a delivery service. But not liquor and cigarettes. Should I start buying it for her? Her doctor says she is competent and has the right to make her own decisions.

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I personally wouldn't. I'd tell her of my concerns for her safety (again) & remind her of alternatives (again). Dr says competent so, the consequences (although dire) are hers. Tough love is indeed tough - on you too!

Steel yourself for the next fall: elderly, impaired eyesight & alcohol - a trifecta with the odds on a fall soon - probably before I finish typing... I do feel for you both.

If the next fall is survivable, the pathway of hospital, rehab, unsafe discharge home may arrive. You my not be able to stop her walking, but you can plan how much you are willing to 'aide & abet' her current lifestyle.
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Oops duplicate removed.

PS my relative was taking taxis to go out unsupervised (needs supervision) fell & decided delivery was ok afterall.

Regarding delivery: Tell her they probably know her face very well in store 😉 but have 50+ delivery guys - there is no way those guys would know her.
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No. Let her suffer the consequences of her poor decisions.
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DobermanLover Oct 21, 2020
People don't set out to be an alcoholic, no one says hey I want to be one...things happen and we do not know the circumstances surrounding this. She is human and deserves help.
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This is tough. She cannot and should not stop abruptly.

Has she ever been in rehab before? Is she interested?

First of all, alcoholism is a disease. This is not her choice to drink. She simply can’t stop.

It doesn’t sound like her doctor is willing to help you help her.

Please call AA and Alcoholics Anonymous and ask them about their program or simply to discuss your situation.

Call a rehab facility or your local hospital and ask to speak to a social worker. They deal with alcoholism as a disease. You will be treated with respect. They will give you sound advice without judgment.

For the record, I grew up with an addict. So, I know how painful it is. I know the shame also.

People back then weren’t very kind to family members. Some still aren’t. It’s hard.

I wasn’t anything like my brother. Still, I was considered guilty by association. It nearly killed me as a kid. I became withdrawn.

I was always terrified of losing my big brother. It becomes a love/hate relationship.

People do not realize the agony that family members go through. I learned a lot later on in my life when I sought therapy to help cope with many aspects of life that I was going through. So many things go hand in hand. Issues become intertwined.

I wish you the very best in this extremely difficult and challenging situation.

I supported my brother as best I could but there is a limit. We cannot help anyone that isn’t willing to receive help. I reached a point that for my own sanity I had to walk away.

Was the estrangement forever? No, I was the last person at his bedside when he died. Did I forgive him? Yes, completely. Am I telling you what to do? No, you have to do what is right for you.

Was I angry? Yes, I went through lots of angry days. I chose to forgive so I could move forward and allow him to die in peace. At the end, most of all I felt sadness. Pure sadness. No more pain, no more anger, just sad. Then by the grace of God, I was able to let go and find peace.

The hospice social worker, nurses and chaplain helped me and my brother enormously. I am forever grateful to them.

Take care. 💗
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ArtistDaughter Oct 21, 2020
I'm sorry about your brother, NeedHelp. When and if my brother goes back home from rehab, we don't know if he will begin drinking again, though it is the reason for his heart failure. He was revived at the hospital. He died and was brought back. But will he stop? He hallucinates that there is a beer next to him in his hospital bed and sips on his imaginary beers all day. Substance abuse runs through my family, and those of us who do not have it manage to marry into other families who have it. It seems never ending. My youngest son is sober now, but he's been sober sometimes for 6 years straight, then something happens emotionally and he thinks he needs a drink. And it starts all over. Yes, it's a disease. A horrible one.

In the situation of the mom here, I would not buy the alcohol, but would try to find professional help in getting her to stop drinking. So sad.
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Listen to the doctor. She is competent and can make her decisions. Translates to leave her alone and let her make her own bad choices.

My 96 year and old competent mother lives by herself making all sorts of bad decisions. She’s a gambling addict and spent every last dime my father ever made and now is looking to see if she qualifies for Medicaid.

My mother is also a hoarder and has been since 1998. He house is a mess and won’t let anyone help her clean or throw anything out.

She takes call a bus once or twice a week to go to the grocery store and buy groceries and then play the scratch off machine for hours on end. Then she takes the motorized grocery cart in the parking lot and rides it next door to the liquor store to buy her booze.

Yup, been there, done that. Not a thing I can do to stop her or help her. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.

You can’t stop a competent person from making bad choices.
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Why not place a call to your area's Adult Protective Services (APS)? You can do it anonymously. She is clearly a danger to herself...and that's what they are there for. They also should have list of resources that might be helpful to her. Seeing an authority show up and to know they are watching and could come again at anytime may cause her to cool her heels a bit. Or rage. Whatever, let her have her tantrum. I've had many alcoholics in my family and no amount of care or concern will help motivate them to change. The only time an alcoholic *might* think of changing is when they are truly at rock bottom. Rock bottom means their life is completely out of control (relationships, money, work, friends, etc.). My housemate turned out to be an alcoholic and while I knew this she kept her late-night drinking to herself in her bedroom. Fine. It's your life. But then she started coming out of her room drunk out of her mind, falling, peeing on herself and whatever she fell on. Quite disgusting. So I laid down a tough boundary: either go to rehab or we put the house on the market and go our separate ways (or something similar...whatever it is that floats your boat). Just because she's your mother doesn't mean you are required to help her....especially when she uses that help to continue her liquor habit. She can detox on a psych ward (maybe APS can help you with that) at a hospital (usually about 2 weeks) and most hospitals will take medicaid for this, and definitely medicare. Boundaries can be scary, but that is more a product of your imagination than what really will happen. Expect zero from her. Expect rage. But stand absolutely and peacefully beside your boundary and let her make the choice of whether she will stop or separate. It doesn't matter that she's family. In truth, with her being as old as she is, APS might look at you as being neglectful to an elderly parent and thus abusive and in a lot of trouble. A neighbor or relative could easily (and with reason) call APS on you as her caretaker. Call and talk to them (anonymously), feel them out for what they can do/provide. Ditto for your area's Agency on Aging. Still, she may never quit, but why should you be the one who stands by and does nothing -- surely this affects you hugely? Are you going to take care of her when her cirrhosis of the liver kicks in? As long as you accept what she is doing, you are also enabling her. There is no middle ground here: either she stops or you leave. Period. There is really nothing else you can do. Tell her the choices and give her time to think about if before she answers. Do not argue. She will not hear you. Ditto for the yelling. State your requirements as they are -- you do not have to justify or explain your needs...they just are and you're entitled to them and have a right to a peaceful life. You also have to make a choice: do something or live with her alcoholism and accept it. Her drinking is abusive to you (and probably other family members). The only way to stop this from hurting you is for you to do something. She will never change on her own. Actually, you don't owe a person like this anything (mother or not). Why should you have to put up with and witness her behavior? Who elected you as a whipping post? I bet not a lot of people come to the house, just because they can't stand her behavior. Why would you choose to accept and continue to be abused and very unhappy? Don't. Either stop or separate. You'll feel guilty, but that's normal. You'll feel grief. You'll feel anger. You'll feel frustrated. You may become more depressed. You may sometimes think of suicide. So find a therapist (Ask APS or the Agency on Aging if you need a sliding scale financial approach) to help you with coping mechanisms....how to find a way to feel good with your decision. You could be your very own hero. What are you waiting for?
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Reply to ClaireDare
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It sounds as though your 88 year old mother would rather risk death than stop drinking. Perhaps it’s reasonable from her point of view. It might also be reasonable from your point of view too. She hasn’t got a lot to look forward to, and you don’t have much to look forward to in the relationship. Resign yourself.
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Adult protective services won’t help at all if the elder is deemed “incompetent “. I called and had a nice lengthy conversation with them.

You know what they did? They closed the case without ever going over to her house. I told them everything about my mother and since she is competent she is free to make bad choices.

They also said that if they knocked on her door and she refused to open it, they would LEAVE. Nobody can walk inside someone’s home without a search warrant or the elders permission. You can’t just tell someone how to run there life if they are competent. If she wants to drink, let her drink. She’s elderly. What else does she have to look forward to?

Its a very hard pill to swallow. Watch an elderly LO who is competent and make bad choices and not being able to stop them. I tried and tried and tried everything and talked to doctors, elder lawyers, social workers, policemen, EMT’S. They all said the same thing. She’s competent to make her own choices. Her own decisions. Even if they are bad ones. As long as she’s not breaking the law, she is free to do what she likes in her own home.
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 21, 2020
Elaine,

You show respect to everyone as a fellow human being, regardless of your personal feelings on the destruction of addiction. It is a disease! It takes awhile to overcome and some like my brother never did. I am grateful that I can remember the good times before he destroyed his life. In spite of everything, he managed to have some success in life too. His life had value.

I see wisdom, compassion and love in your answers. It takes a special person to never want to strip away someone’s dignity. You are that person.

I try very hard to grow but fall short at times. We are all works in progress walking on our own path in life. Thanks for being an inspiration to me.

You accept what cannot be changed. You aren’t overly critical of others. You judge actions, not people. I see very few people that are able to truly live the ‘serenity prayer’ successfully like you seem to do.

I admire your qualities very much and always look forward to reading your posts.

I adore your sense of humor on many things. You’ve made me giggle often.

I truly appreciate a person that can make me laugh during challenging times.

Laughter is good for the soul. It’s not always easy to do. It doesn’t apply in all situations but when it does, it can really lighten our load for awhile. I find healing in laughter. In the past I have sunken in the depths of depression in my darkest hours when my brother was alive in his addiction. You have too with your mom’s gambling addiction.

I suppose we healed through being able to accept and forgive. God knows that no one has the power to change anyone else. We can only change our reaction, and hopefully grow past any bitterness that destroys us.

We both moved towards therapy to help us cope and walk away to save ourselves, yet still care as much as possible without going down with the ship. It’s a tough balancing act that at times I completely walked away from.

Thank God for all therapists that guide us in our time of need, huh?

I relate to your energy and spirit.
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I’m sorry you’re in such a tough place with your mom. No judgement here, can only say if it were me, I couldn’t provide an alcoholic a drink. It’s beyond sad, and I wish you peace
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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This is truly sad but your mother has not hit her rock bottom. Possibly at her age that might mean falling in the snow and hopefully being rescued which would put her in the hospital where alcohol and cigarettes will not be available. This shows the extent of her addiction which millions suffer from around the world. I would not aid her in making substances easily available. Sadly she has to want to avoid them or as I stated she puts herself in a position where she is not able to obtain them.

I have a far from ideal mother for other reasons and I grew up with that. She avoided medicine for years due to her religion. She also avoided seeking any medical intervention for me throughout my childhood despite pleas from her mother which I discovered in letters. Now she gladly takes medicine which is keeping her alive but years of deferred maintenance has certainly affected her present condition.

You are doing your best. At 88 your mother is still making very poor choices but if that is how she is going to go out it is her choice. An addict can receive help from others but has to eventually accept that help and the reality of their behavior. They have to choose love of available family over the substances causing them great harm. Sadly to venture out in the conditions she is going to shows how strong the addiction is and the seeming importance the hold it has over her. I wish you strength.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Are you ordering her groceries? If so I would just add the liquor to the grocery list so it can be delivered.
the only one she is "fooling" by not having it delivered is herself.
The biggest problem I see is if she does fall during the winter and if she is not seen right away she may freeze to death. Even if she does not fall it does not take much for an elderly person to suffer frost bite. A mile, using a walker, 88 years old, that trip can take a while to get to the store and back. A lot can happen.
While I do not like the idea of feeding an addiction unless and until she wants to quit she won't.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Al Anon was helpful for me when I could not understand why my brother would not stop drinking. Maybe it would work for you.
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Reply to Bootsiesmom
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I assume breaking an addiction is a VERY difficult thing to do.

I totally see where you are between a rock and a hard place here. She's going to drink, regardless of what you do. She has no reason to want to stop. You have to figure out which option is more palatable to you. Neither choice is right or wrong. Only what's right for you.

If you are very worried about her venturing out to the liquor store which is physically risky for her, then maybe go ahead and buy it for her so you will not have to deal with the guilt of her getting hurt or even dying from her next accident (which will happen, just a matter of time).

Or if you can not stand the idea of her drinking, then just let her keep making her bad decisions and being ruled by her addiction.

No good choice here. But you are not wrong to make either one.

Good luck.
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Reply to againx100
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I am torn on this.

Walking a couple miles is really good for her.

Maybe this is how she keeps herself from drinking soooo much.

Falls are going to happen no matter where she is, in the street at least someone sees her.

She has told you no and the doctor says she is completely competent.

When she goes to the liquor store she is known and gets some socialization.

I think that I would leave it alone and let her walk to the store until she can no longer do it. It is more than buying booze for her and she probably needs everything she gets out of the trips or she would give them up.

Buy her a nice coat, gloves, scarf and hat for her trips and make sure that she has emergency contact information on her.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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In my opinion, at her age and debility, and as a long time alcoholic, to withdraw from alcohol would be dangerous.

You didn’t say if she goes to the liquor store daily or not? If she goes daily, she may drink all of what she buys that day. If she goes weekly, then she drinks a certain amount each day. So if you commit to buying her alcohol, and she drinks all that she has in one day, you would have to drop off liquor daily. And you would have to consider she may still go to the liquor store to buy more alcohol. Going to the liquor store may be her own way of controlling her intake and keeping a routine.

I have known doctors in nursing homes to prescribe a certain amount of alcohol for their patients - such as one beer a day, to keep them from leaving the facility in search of alcohol as well as for their emotional well being.

This is a very emotional topic for adult children of alcoholics. Even at her advanced age it still dredges up bad memories for you. Can you and your mother have an honest conversation with her doctor? Perhaps she will agree to sticking with a plan set out by her doctor to keep her safe.
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Reply to Mepowers
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She will continue to risk her life for certain; there is no way around that. Sadly it looks like time for placement when she is no longer competent. As she now IS competent, this is her decision to make. She could have this delivered to her, and will in all likelihood at some point. My bro's ex partner was/is alcoholic. He has gone so far, when locked in memory care after last rehab, to drink both listerine and hand sanitizer, which, surprisingly, makes a very large number of quite lethal "cocktails". There is no way round this deadly game until they are gone of it sadly enough. And no, alcohol will take her down eventually with falls and encephalopathy, so I wouldn't participate in that. The amounts she will drink, knowing some supply is coming in, will just escalate.
Do know that when Mom does enter care or hospitalization it is CRITICAL she be withdrawn safely with medications in rehab. And that they KNOW she is an alcoholic. I know someone with "locked in syndrome" Central Pontine Myelinolysis from going in with family not telling, having low sodium, and getting it replaced too quickly and too much for chronic alcoholic, resulting in lifelong debility. Never hide this important medical information; never try to withdraw alcohol suddenly.
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I would like to add to my earlier post. I am absolutely convinced that some addicts are self medicating an underlying mental illness.

Situations are not always black and white or cut and dry. There are gray areas that must be addressed if healing is to take place.

Sometimes there is hidden pain that the person has not disclosed to anyone. Unfortunately, they mask it by drowning their sorrows. Not an excuse but a reason.

Solutions do not happen overnight. Some people never recover. No one is ever cured. It is an ongoing struggle for the rest of their lives.

AA and AL ANON are helpful. Don’t ever be ashamed of reaching out for help. It is a sign of strength, not weakness. Live the serenity prayer.
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elaine1962 Oct 21, 2020
🙏 Amen!! You are absolutely right!!! I love your answer Needhelpwithmom.
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No!!! It's called enabling.

She has made her bed and now she will have to lie in it, even if it's in the street.
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Marcia732 Oct 22, 2020
Alcoholism is a disease. A little compassion would not go amiss.
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I wonder if you could fill in the blanks a bit?

What is her frequency of trips? What does she buy?

If she goes once a week for a pint of bourbon that’s one thing.
If she goes daily for a fifth that’s another.

Ditto on the cigs. How many packs a day? Or does a pack last a week or two?

Does she have guests who have a drink with her? Do you ever have a drink with her?

Have you ever walked with her to keep her company? Do you know who she visits with at the liquor store?

Do you see empties piled up? Is her house a mess? Does she eat well?

Tell us more about your mom.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Such a sad thing for your mom to be 88 and an alcoholic.

If she is competent and knows it is not safe for her to walk to the store and still chooses to do it, she is making a bad decision for herself. Sometimes bad decisions come with bad consequences.

It's sad, it really is.

If she is 88, talk to her about going to church so she can get delivered from alcohol. Honey, she does not need any alcohol and she certainly does not need you to buy it for her. So, NO.
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Here's my take on things, for what it's worth.

Your mother is addicted to booze and cigarettes, period. At 88, she's not going to rehab or counseling or AA, it is what it is. Cigarettes and booze are her friends; her companions, the only comforts left for her at this stage of life.

If you buy her booze and cigarettes, yes, you are 'enabling' her. But in reality, she's going to buy herself cigarettes and booze ANYWAY, and wind up in the hospital as a result of doing so. That will leave you feeling badly because your mother hurt herself on her quest to satisfy her addictions.

It's a no-win situation. You both lose. She's already lost because she's an addict who's proven she's willing to hurt herself, break bones, be hospitalized and even DIE in order to get her drugs of choice. Again, it is what it is.

So, if it were me, I'd buy my mother the booze and the cigarettes to avoid another trip to the hospital which, for me, would feel worse than knowing I'm 'enabling' her addiction which she's going to manage ANYWAY.

But.....and here's the but: I wouldn't buy a LOT of booze at one time b/c she might go on a big binge and drink it all up at once, killing herself in the process. Same with cigs, I wouldn't buy cartons at one time. Dole it out; one pack and one bottle, depending on what she drinks ie: 1 bottle of wine or 1 pint of hard liquor, etc. Set something up where you swing by once a week or whatever and drop things off. Or, set something up with the liquor store where they will make a delivery, same difference.

Talk to mom and tell her that you know what she's doing and it's ok, you just want her to stay safe and not walk a mile to get her supplies. Get on the same page. And then accept the fact that YOU are not 'killing' her, she made the decision to smoke and drink long, long ago.......all you're doing is helping her NOT fall in the street or break her hip again.

I don't think there is a 'right' or 'wrong' answer here, either, by the way. Whatever feels right to YOU is what you should do, without judgment of your mother in the process, if possible. We all make our life's choices and they're not always wise, God knows.
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worriedinCali Oct 21, 2020
Spot on!!
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Firstof5

PLEASE, "do not" contribute something "harmful" to your mom.

Whatever she decides to do is on her but don't you contribute to her.
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So Op. it appears by some people’s logic you have to decide how you want your mom to die.

Its harmful to allow a nearly blind 88 year old with mobility problems to walk 2 miles to buy alcohol. Do you allow her to continue to do it and wait until a car takes her out of this world? Or what if she falls in the snow and freezes to death before someone finds her sprawled out in the snow?

Or do you stop her from walking to buy her alcohol and then wait as she dies from alcohol withdrawals?

It’s ultimately your choice but......she’s an 88 year old alcoholic. What is the actual harm in giving her alcohol in moderation? The reason liquor stores have been deemed essential throughout the pandemic is because of alcoholics. It’s harmful to cut them off.
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OP

No one is trying to say you decide how your mom dies. That is so cruel for someone to suggest.

Let me repeat myself, "Please do not contribute something "harmful" to your mom."
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My 75 year old father had to have a hip replacement. He was also diagnosed with cancer. The doctors gave him 6 months to live. He needed the hip replacement because it was hurting him so bad.

He was an alcoholic all of his life. He actually got the doctor to write him a script saying he could have 2 beers at 5:00pm.

You know what the doctor did? Wrote him out a script for 2 beers at 5:00pm daily.

Where there is a will, there is a way.
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WolfeyKat62 Oct 23, 2020
I was a housekeeper in a NH in 2000 and a male resident had a doctor like that. He was allowed two beers a day. The nurses kept them in a fridge. It gave me hope for my twilight years.
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It is a difficult position to be in: contribute to addictive behavior or let her put herself into dangerous situations.

IF she only goes once/week or so, and drinks moderately, perhaps you could offer to drive her there. You say she won't ask for a ride, but if you know her routine, be there and perhaps say you were going to pick something up, she could join you. If she is going daily and drinks a lot, it will be a matter of time before something bad happens.

Honestly, if she's a heavy drinker, she's done well to make it to 88yo. One uncle (by marriage) passed too young, mainly because he drank too much. Another had multiple issues directly related to drinking, including softening his bones. He had some falls because of the booze and bones, and the last one really did him in, when he hit his head on the bathtub. If she's more of a moderate drinker, I wouldn't really want to "contribute" to her addiction, but I also wouldn't want to see her in a dangerous situation, so I would likely choose to (help) provide what she needs to keep her off the road, esp in winter! So, try to offer to take her there.

At this point in her life, it isn't likely she's going to stop or agree to rehab, so the choice comes down to help her get what she wants or let her struggle to get it herself, and perhaps have something horrible happen to her. If she were not competent, you could see to having her moved to a safe place and get treated, but that's not the case.

My grandmother was a wine drinker, but didn't know when to stop. When she could no longer drive, she hired a taxi to go get it for her. This is all I know about it, it was kind of hush hush, y'know? I only heard whispers now and then, but it would have been better if they had been honest with us (we were later HS/early college at that point!)

So, when my parents went to visit old neighbors for a long weekend and took my YB, she had Nana come stay with us... Like WE needed a baby-sitter? I went to the store to get something and was going to pick up some beer for myself, but was torn - do it now, or take her home (she wanted to go to store with me) and go for it later? Silly me decided to go now. She happily went in and bought a bottle of wine. I left her alone watching TV and went to my room for TV and a beer. When it was time to sleep, I could still hear the TV blaring away, so I went down to check on her. Not in the rocking chair. Empty bottle. Uh oh. I found her passed out on the floor near where she slept. I wasn't able to help her up, but disturbed her enough that she got up and crawled into bed, as is.

Next day we were to go to my aunt's house for a cookout. I came down to find her still in bed, with horrible stink (she had vomited.) I told her to get up and dressed, we had to go. She begged off, saying she didn't feel well, but I said we go. I came back in a bit and she was still in bed. I told her she HAD to get up and get dressed, we HAD to go or there would be questions. I opened the door, window and slider, to generate a NICE breeze! When I returned she was up and dressed, just needed help with the dress zipper. So, off we go to auntie's. We get all the way there (about 40-50m drive), into the house, out into the back yard, sit in a lawn chair and THEN puked all over herself!!! My aunt had some clothes for her (sisters took turns caring for her) so she changed her and put her to bed. She then asked me "Did she get out on you?" I was honest about it, but asked her not to tell my mother. Mom gets home, then quizzes me, "Did she get out on you?" So, only part of the story was relayed, but I was honest about it with her too. She didn't chastise me for taking Nana or letting her buy/drink the wine, she asked me what I was doing buying beer!!!

So, she was okay if someone would give her a glass of wine, but NOT okay if you give her a bottle. Again, had my parents been up front and honest about the situation, I would NOT have taken her anywhere near the liquor store!
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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I have a horrible visual image of your mom struggling to get her booze. I can’t imagine how you are dealing with this situation.

I don’t see her changing her behavior this late in the game. Why doesn’t she want it delivered to her? Why won’t she let you drive her?

It is awful that she is nearly blind and walking so far. She can’t stop drinking at this point. I’m sure that you know this. It’s amazing what addicts will do.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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She is competent and has the right to make her own decisions.

That being so, I think I'd ask her again if she would like to include drinks (alcoholic or otherwise) and cigarettes among the goods she has delivered. Try your best to do so in a neutral tone of voice. Do her usual suppliers offer the products she treks through the snow to buy?

It sounds as though somewhere along the line she has come to feel ashamed of these perfectly legal (even if undesirable for other reasons) purchases. That's the gremlin you need to root out because it doesn't help *anything*. It just confuses all of the issues and doesn't prevent any of the harms or the risks.
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 22, 2020
I agree. She feels shame and doesn’t want to ask or be given a lecture.
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withdrawal from alcohol for an 88 yr old will probably kill her. Find a way for her to get her alcohol besides walking.
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 22, 2020
Absolutely!
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Have you ever consulted Al-anon? People there might be very helpful.
It's a delicate balance dealing with addicts. You might welcome support from people who know what you are going through.
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