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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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Sure but if it were me, I’d wean her off it slowly through dilution. So slow that she doesn’t even notice it. Good luck!🍀
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We buy it, but put half wine, half juice that matches flavor and a small amount of water as well. Also, non alcoholic, least noticeable on can, beer. She drinks them and doesn't realize the difference. It helped with less falls, less disoriented moments. Just let's us deal with the dementia mainly and not the situation adding alcohol into it as much.
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My mom became a "late in life" alcoholic, it bubbled up upon retirement. Once she got into her 70s, it began to slowly take its toll. She's 78 now. For the last, at least, 5 years, I have gone on regular "wine runs" for her. It kept her from driving to the local store, where the owners expressed to me their concerns of her being a fall risk in their store. Yes, she hobbled in there with her walker.

I've been told by many medical professionals that she is competent to make her own decisions, and yes, she is free to make bad ones. A few suggested I walk away, and I even had a consultation with a lawyer at one point regarding my liabilities & responsibilities. I had to turn stony & clinical, limit my interactions with her, just buy her the daily wine (maybe cigarettes too), drop it off, and find an excuse to quickly leave. The first couple of years were filled with tears (on my end only), then I just went numb and into self-protection mode.

Mom's health quickly unraveled this past August due to aspirational pneumonia. She went from the hospital (where she was exposed to COVID), to rehab, to assisted living, to memory care in a matter of four months. She's wheelchair bound. Wednesday this week I received a phone call that she had a seizure. She had at least two and is now hospitalized. Last night I was reflecting back on my stressful, angry years of daily "wine runs" for her. My husband said, "I don't know how you did it". My daily wine runs are over but my sad journey with my mom is not. I've worked on releasing my anger over the past several months. I cried in the shower this morning, thinking of the good years and relationship she threw away while she drowned herself in alcohol.

Yeah, I don't know how I did it. But looking back at this point, I'm glad I was there for her in the way that she needed. I don't regret my daily "wine runs". We both did the best we could...
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 9, 2021
Upstream,

I admire your kindness and sensible approach.

Most people cannot reach the point that you did.

I reached acceptance of my brother’s drug usage, which of course is different but addiction is addiction no matter what the drug of choice is.

My circumstances were entirely different and I had to cut ties with my brother after trying to help him for so long.

I was at his bedside for several days at the end of life hospice facility. I forgave him and found peace.

Addiction effects the entire family, doesn’t it? We go through so many emotions before finding peace.

Wishing you all the best in life. Take care, my friend.
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I sympathize with you, OP, SO much! I just know it's impossible to help a practicing alcoholic who doesn't want to stop. I definitely would not purchase her alcohol to prevent her from getting it herself. If YOU, as her daughter, believe she's incompetent of making her own decisions, start documenting every fall, every inappropriate action, and every unsafe risk she takes. You'll need a doctor to agree with you and then probably a judge also. Declaring someone incompetent takes their personal decision making rights and here in the United States, courts take it very seriously. Document any help with ADLs that she gets from anyone. If she can't cook or use a stove safely, document. Goodluck and I wish you and your mom the best!
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I read through all the answers. Agreed with some but not most.

On one visit to my brother in rehab I passed by a lady in a wheelchair sitting with a dozen other Wheelchair Bound patients around the nurse’s station. It’s just easier for the nurses. Whether they wanted it or not, there they sat. For hours at a time. This lady, who i later learned was 100 years old, was begging to go lay down in her bed.

I told the nurse that she wanted to take a nap. The nurse said she would die if she stayed in bed.

100 years old. I told the nurse, trying to not be angry, that there are worse things than dying. Being forced to sit up straight in an uncomfortable wheelchair for hours was worse than death. All this woman wanted was to lay down.

I realized then that there are, in fact, worse things than death.

get your Mom the alcohol. Join her in a glass, even if it’s watered down. Have a toast to life! Get her cigarettes. Sit with her and talk about happy memories.

after a couple drinks and smokes. Leave the bottle with her and move the smokes out of sight.

trying to prolong her life by not participating in getting her the things she wants is not helping her, but denying her the quality of life she has left.

remove the greater danger of dying on an ice covered street by letting her have some control over the only aspect of life that she can actually control.

By doing that, her life may be shortened by a week or month,, but at least she’ll be on her own terms and she’ll achieve some small sense of happiness at the end of her life.

Consider the pain and life changing horror of the poor person who might run over her on the icy street.

There are worse things than dying.

putting myself in her shoes ... have a drink with me. Make sure I don’t cause a fire. Hold my cigarette if you have to. Help me through my last days and try hard not to judge.

My humble opinion. I’m an old person, too.
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haileybug Nov 4, 2020
Really?

You would willingly give your mom the things that you know can harm/destroy her body, mind and soul?

We have no control over what someone else does but we can control what we do.

Sadly, if a person's decision is to do the wrong thing no matter the consequences, that is there choice.

We can not live their life for them.

I can't choose to do the wrong thing to harm someone just because they make the decision in taking a risk of harming themselves.
(In other words, I can't go buy the alcohol ("that I know will destroy the mind, body and soul") for someone because that person (grown) is choosing the chance of falling in the street to get ran over.

Not judging here. Just my humble opinion.
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Original Poster here. It wasn't a quick office visit when they told me she was competent. She broke her arm (at home) and was temporarily in assisted living for 2 months. The social worker and doctor had plenty of time to observe her in her daily activities, although not exactly like at her own home.

They didn't give me a diagnosis, but because of her and my sisters' abusive behavior toward me, the social worker told me to step back and let my sisters take on the caregiving. They also said that if my sisters didn't want to help, it was my mom's problem, not mine.

So I have backed off, but can't completely abandon her. I try to keep an eye on her, to try to avoid emergencies. I'm working on healthy boundaries, and respecting her right to make her own decisions. I do sometimes wonder if she is jerking my chain about going to the store. It seems so strange that she would risk her safety just to get attention.

She really does walk to the store and it is upsetting the very kind management at her regular apartment building (Not senior living) and last Sunday they went looking for her because she was gone so long. They can't evict her or refuse to extend her lease because of discrimination laws. Fortunately they are willing to encourage her to not renew her lease in July, but if she wants to stay, they have to let her.
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mrspru852 Jan 1, 2021
I have to agree with the first answer ONLY because she is competent. She's been abusing alcohol for years and getting physical health problems hasn't changed that. If she's able to live alone and manages to do that, you have to let it go.
Alcoholics make poor decisions about everything to get a drink and keep drinking. Young, healthy alcoholics stagger and fall in the street. Unless she becomes incompetent mentally, her life is still her own as always.
If she was totally incompetent, the 2nd answer makes sense and you'd have to intervene. You can't tell a competent adult how to live because they become elderly and physically sick.
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Get mom to a geriatrician and a neurologist. A two-hour cognitive evaluation can't be faked with show timing. A brain MRI can conclusively show damage from white matter disease, even shows evidence of previous brain events such as strokes or TIAs.

One general practitioner's 10-minute diagnosis of competence does not have to be a dead end.

Many people on this thread are saying the law does not allow you to force her to change if she's of sound mind. However, in our society we have a moral and ethical obligation to take care of our parents if we can. It's up to each person to decide what they can do emotionally and financially, but when our moral obligation conflicts with the law, we can't just give up and allow loved ones to put themselves (and others!) in harm's way.

In fact, some states have laws making adult sons and daughters liable for the parents' cost of care, or liable for damage caused by elderly parent's impaired driving due to dementia. Those laws exist in the same larger framework of laws that say elders and disabled people have the same civil rights as the rest of us.

Reality is, group care, home care, and many doctors understand the family's wish to prevent further harm and they will be on "your side" more often than not as you try to keep your elderly mother safe.

Blaming it on "the elder law attorney said we can't" sounds like an excuse from people who eventually had to give up, or whose personal limits were reached very early.

There's a lot you CAN do, keep trying, and learn to understand your own limits when you must quit.
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Beatty Oct 28, 2020
I think I agree with you on everything you just said.

Within my family I did find the medicos wanted to help, wanted to keep my relative safe but had to work within their limit. As did I.
Doctor said living alone is unsuitable - but still she does. Physio says supervised outings required - but she goes out alone when chooses. She leaves the building through an entry with oncoming cars. Doctor says competent unless proved otherwise. She has refused Dr appoitments which could look further (neuro tests) & any offers to get further help.

So it's 'awaiting the crises' for any change. I was told once in crises mode, neuro testing would be requested by Doctor (maybe even by a court order) to assess competency, then guardian appointed if required.

I tried many paths, but they all led back here. To await the crises.
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One more thing:
Docs HATE to make a determination of incompetence! They avoid it like the plague...& sadly, sometimes, to the deaths of some people.
The very basic rule about determining a person incompetent, is:
"are they a danger to themselves or others?"
SOMEtimes, a caregiver must educate the Docs on actual behaviors of their patient, or like some below posts say, the patient was lying to their Docs about their habits.
Docs, their staff, & Social Workers need to understand, that when a person lies to their Docs about unhealthy habits, & it is adversely affecting their health, they ARE being a "danger to themselves or others".
Especially if they get violent while drinking, for instance.

Society does not look kindly on caretakers who let their charges do things that cause harms.
OTH, elders might be counseled to learn how they really feel...they MIGHT have just had more than they can take of this life, so don't care about taking care of themselves..& certainly Won't choose to change their behaviors.
Alcoholics & smokers too often have silent death wishes..& would deny they felt that way to anyone out loud.
BUT...MAYBE counseling might help figure that out...then it is STILL the choice of the person, whether they want to sign up for Hospice & be allowed to starve, drink or smoke themselves to death.
But then at least, all caregivers would be aware, & could properly support the elder doing that.
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That is sure an issue! So sorry you are going through that!
Some nursing homes dosed alcohol of choice, on Doc's RX, for various reasons: relaxation; & avoiding them going into DTs on the staff, come to mind.
When Mom lived here, she randomly erupted into h*ll-on-wheels behaviors, as she's had Bipolar & heaven only knows what else behaviors all her life.
Adding alcohol to that, made it worse.
She was not handling grief of loss of her 3rd husband; & she was used to doing everything her way, regardless how good/bad the idea or behaviors.
She always wanted to go along for car rides, & really pushed for it almost daily; always figured how to buy her own [& give away large chunks of assets she couldn't afford to give, to "those sad, poor people begging in front of stores". She was very easily conned by strangers.
Perhaps the answer cannot be generic.
Perhaps one must really look at the person, to figure what is mosts sensible for the elder.
IF their alcohol drinking causes behavior changes or disruptions in your household, then allowing her easy access to alcohol, becomes the wrong thing.
Blocking her going on walks unsafely, is also bad.
Sorry, for those who think elders should get to eat drink and be merry. That does NOT work for most!
--> Now, there are alarm-door-locks for windows and doors, & tracking chips that can be hidden in the persons' belts, or other clothing they always wear, which can be tracked via smart phone. Tracker chips have become less & less costly. So have some cellphones.
IF she will keep-ahold of a cellphone, THOSE can be set up as trackers, without her knowing it.
We had none of those.
A "compromise" might be made, by letting her choose a bottle of booze she particularly likes, but restrict access to it, only dosed-out when it will not be too much, & not disrupt the household. You could make a production-number of that, by taking her for a nice drive, stop at liquor store, let her choose & buy it [the autonomy part].
But for many caregivers, that is NOT an option.
I could not stop mom buying huge bottles of booze every time she went shopping. We suffered the consequences...& so did her health.
I was unable to get even minimal help from ANY services; social workers around here had been useless as rain on an ocean.
Perhaps there needs to be a bit of fear threatened?..certainly falling on a dangerous walk has Not stopped yours.
MAYbe she needs to have the door locks, trackers, AND be made to understand that if she refuses to comply, she will be moved to a nursing home immediately..& make that stick!
--> Ever talked about why booze is so important to her?
Sometimes you might learn what is driving them, just by asking.
If it means "freedom" to her, or, "It helps relax", those are VERY different from making up fake excuses like: "It helps me go to the bathroom better than coffee",
--> You might want to see if there is a safer drug that she can use, like CBD oil baked into foods she craves [there's still a sense of "getting away w/something" that resonates with many]. That was one thing I could do, to decrease how much Mom drank. I was able to get Medical Marijuana. It relaxed her so she could sleep [one of her problems was a "busy mind"]; if it had a little bit of THC in it, she could feel "high" safely...it worked for her, but not well enough to prevent bad behaviors from booze, & almost impossible to use it to commit suicide. It also helped her glaucoma.
I dearly hope you can figure out the right combination of compromises and rules, so she can be some happy, yet you and your family are protected from any potential bad behaviors.
I highly recommend letting ALL her Docs know she's a long-time drinker, & how it affects her behaviors. It IS important for her overall healthcare [don't let Anyone tell you it isn't!]. BEWARE of Docs too easily RXing controlled drugs like oxycontin; you don't know if an elder will stockpile them "in case of need". those really harm people.
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What problems can she get into? Make a list for her staying at home vs her going out to get it. I dont think she can detox if going off of alcohol quickly. It could cause seizures etc. Is she refusing to let you buy it bc she doesn't wantvanyone to know how much she is drinking?
Also can you be held accountable for her actions in any way if something happens? That seems so dangerous for her to be walking a mile with a walker and falling. She must really need that alcohol. At least she is not driving.
Do you know how much she is drinking?
Has she ever wanted to stop?
I would think it would be easier to get it to her to keep her from going out. Good luck.
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personally I would say "no" do not buy her the liquor. yes it is hard to do that but if you start then you will be enabling her and that won't help her.  the only thing you can do is tell her that IF she falls again, she might have to go into a NH and then she won't have any liquor at all.  is there anyway to get her to "slow down" on the liquor?  I am surprised that the doctor said she can make her own decisions, especially if she is using walker and has fallen several times....sounds like "not good decision" making especially if walking out near a road.  I am guessing that when she ends up in the hospital and she is released that you are picking her up, if so, refuse to do so and tell them she can't take care of herself.  wishing you luck, this is a hard one to have to deal with.
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Yes. Have a small amount of liquor delivered by the liquor store on a regular basis.
Ask her doctor adjust her medications accordingly.
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I'm sorry you are going through this. I have not read all of the responses and have related to many that I've seen. If you do just let your mom go on her own to buy her alcohol, do you think she could be talked into using a walker? A rolling walker, not another person, just to be clear. That way she might be more safe and would have a surface to place her purchases on if you get one that has that ability. Just a thought.
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worriedinCali Oct 25, 2020
Her mom does use a walker :)
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If she is 88 and still drinking it’s not going to kill her. To me her big problem is failing. Hopefully in won’t be In front of a car. If it should happen here’s hoping the person will not be charged and loose everything. You are a good daughter. God bless you
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chimonger Oct 28, 2020
That might be OK for the few who don't have a problem with alcohol. But it is ALWAYS a problem for caretakers and the elders, because it fools them in many ways.
Nope, it's not gonna kill her at this age...unless by falling in a dangerous area..which she has done repeatedly. Or by end-stage liver disease [a horrific fate]. Or, she might get violent with her caregivers.
I don't think most caregivers are willing to allow their elder to die in traffic or a ditch, or from thieves hitting her up, or to keep harming themselves in any way...any more than a caregiver is willing to allow that fate to happen to a child.
Wouldn't that be irresponsible in any case? I mean, people can joke about that, but realistically...is that what you would really do?
How would that leave you feeling, knowing you could have done something to prevent that pain and damage?
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The woman is 88 years old. A lot of us won’t make it to 88 years old. Let her eat, drink, eat whatever she wants. Are you going to tell someone not to eat junk food because it’s bad for them? What about soda? That’s bad for you. What about a nice big fat chocolate bar. Are you going to take that away too? What if your mother is overweight? Are you going to put her on a diet because you know what is best for her?

We live in a free country. We can eat drink and be merry. My mother is 96 years old. If I start preaching to her she tells me not to NAG her. I let her do what she wants. It’s a free country. Someday we will get old and we won’t want our adult kids telling us what we can and cannot do. Leave her be. If she wants to smoke and drink, it her right to do so. If you want to buy her booze, go right ahead. It will make her HAPPY. Isn’t that the point when someone is 85, 88, 90, 95, 96, 99, 100 is to make them happy and enjoy the guilty pleasures if that is what makes them happy? Just my opinion.
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Frances73 Oct 25, 2020
Reminds me of my grandfather. He was a cigar smoker who started smoking at age 13. He tried stopping after a stoke and heart attack, even tried chewing tobacco (ick). Finally he took up smoking again 1 a day until he died at age 91.
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Firstof5,
I have a similar situation with my Mom.
After arguing with her and my hubby, I finally decided that the arguments were just not worth it!!
I refused to bring her hard liquor, but I will bring her wine.
It has alleviated some of the pressure.
Weigh the pros and cons!
Keep your sanity!
Best wishes!!!
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Where does her income come from? You can start the process of becoming payee for her social security, SSI, SSDI, veterans, etc. A separate process for each. If you are payee, the money is no longer deposited into mom's account--instead, the money is deposited into an account you create and control, then you pay her bills from it to make sure she has a roof, heat, electricity, food, clothing, soap. (But on the other hand, if you can intercept all her money, she will have no cash and she might go out to beg strangers for cash, risking falling anyway.) Maybe first thing is to gain or keep whatever trust she has left and keep bringing her to doctors and specialists to deal with her medical and psychiatric issues. The current doctor sounds useless--will she go with you to a new doctor, a geriatrician experienced with geriatric psychiatry?
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disgustedtoo Oct 25, 2020
While I do recommend becoming Rep Payee for SS (it is, by SS rules, the ONLY way one should be handling someone else's SS funds) to those who care for someone with dementia or who can no longer manage their own finances, there has to be a good reason for SS to approve this.

OP's mother doesn't have dementia, has been deemed competent by her doc and from what we know manages to pay her bills. Just spending money on booze and butts isn't likely to be sufficient to get approved. Also, when you apply, the person receives notice that you have applied and can contest it. Until/unless mom has cognitive issues or a valid reason for OP to take over her finances, this isn't likely to work.

Becoming Rep Payee IS the right thing to do if for any reason you have to manage someone's finances, in particular SS. Federal agencies do NOT accept ANY kind of POA. Again, SS rules are that NO ONE can use anyone else's funds unless they become rep payee. They may never find out if we pay their bills from an account using DPOA, but if they do, it is a federal issue. It was NOT difficult to do, I called the local office (main # wait TOO long!), had ONE appt, answered their questions and waited for approval. The worst part was getting the special acct set up as the CU didn't have a good method for this - it took way too long, they had to keep asking someone else questions, etc. Since then, first payment is a check, then you can call the local office again and have electronic payment set up. Even the yearly reporting isn't that bad. It can be done online, it isn't that complex, just keep track of where money is spent or saved. They did question me this last year, because I apply the whole payment to mom's MC, then use her pension and funds from a trust for the remainder, from her old primary acct. Anything else she needs is from that acct. Their letter stated that people have other needs/wants beyond housing and food. Sure they do, but the pittance she gets probably wouldn't cover rent ANYWHERE, and at 97 with dementia, almost no hearing, Mac Deg, being wheelchair bound now AND recently having a stroke, where do they think she's going to vaca, Hawaii, Australia, maybe New Zealand, since they have the virus under control???

I purposely did it that way so I only have to keep track for taxes and bros.
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At 88 if alcoholism is going to kill her it already is and for me the question is more about her quality of life rather than longevity now. I know how counter intuitive that is but I’m just not sure stopping her from drinking now is going to lengthen her health life but I have no doubt it will make you both miserable if it isn’t something she initiates and probably even if she did. My mother has been a type 2 diabetic for 30 years or more now and while she was never great at doing the things she needed to do as she got older the target blood sugars her doctor wants to see have increased. They are more concerned about preventing lows than high because there aren’t as many years left to worry about keeping her kidneys and other organs healthy but getting too low and not correcting that will kill her faster. She loves her sweets and if given a package of cookies or a pie she will eat the whole thing in a sitting, she just can’t help herself. Same goes for a box of Ritz crackers sending her numbers through the roof but her doctor is less concerned about these episodes now that she was 5 years ago and sweets make Mom happy so we simply control how much she has access to each week and let her indulge (COVID has made this much easier).

I see your mother’s alcohol in a similar way, yes it would be beneficial to her health and longevity if she had quit 20 years ago but at 88... I don’t know if it’s worth the suffering and she certainly doesn’t seem to think so. Why not let her do the things that make her happy even if it does lessen her life expectancy. Now this doesn’t mean you have to ignore your feelings about being around her when she’s drinking or pretend it isn’t an obstacle but as long as she is capable of making her own decisions, living on her own, I would choose to purchase the items she orders, maybe ration a bit if possible as long as she doesn’t just go back herself “They only had one bottle left so I got you that” kind of thing but hold firm in your refusal to be around while she’s drinking. My uncle was an alcoholic and my mom had a rule, she didn’t call on him or allow him around after 5 because that was about the time he started drinking. She didn’t Ned to purchase liquor for him he was a “functioning” alcoholic who was fine during the day but became a different person by evening when he started drinking and that was how they handled it. He understood that he wouldn’t be around my mom or grandmother when he was drinking and abided by those “rules” and my mom and grandmother didn’t beg him to quit or try to force his hand, that was his business if he was ok with drinking and not participating in family stuff. Sometimes this was family gatherings and his daughter had the same rules so he was choosing liquor over his grandchildren and visiting loved ones but that was his choice, he was the one missing out.

If you can find a way to come to terms with being ok with her choices not her drinking but her adult choices while also setting your own boundaries I think you will be able to find your way through this and the medical as well as emotional challenges to come. Boy do I wish my mom had chosen to take better care of herself the last 40 years or more and it is exhausting to have to deal with her after she has a sugar binge and her BS is 400+ but I have had to let the anger go and simply work with what I’ve got and through some of that letting go and not micromanaging she has actually gotten better about the sugar highs. I don’t think we have had any numbers much over 300 in a while and that doesn’t even happen often, when it does I simply get the things done I need to (take her meds) and let her pay the price...for the most part but she has some dementia as well as fairly severe aphasia so we can’t just let her go off the rails until she decides to guide herself back. Anyway similar to you in that your mom has physical limitations so you can’t let her just walk to the package store in all weather. Good luck

Sent by mob
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Murrietta1

"Alcohol causes "intoxication." Alcohol is a poison, it kills. I would not risk my freedom by intentionally poisoning another, especially a family member."


Thank you for your honest input.
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Your mom can get burned alive due to alcoholic consumption and smoking. I'm surprised the landlord does not kick her out, because I sure would.

I am not diagnosing because I cannot--but IN MY OPINION--SHE IS NOT SAFE LIVING ALONE.

I cannot advise anything, but if that were my mom I would fight for her, and I would call her landlord and tell them she gets drunk and has neglected cigarettes. She may pay rent, but that still is her landlord's property and paying insurance for the property. Hopefully that will set up an eviction process. I would fight for her life.

Eventually your mom will fall and break her hip, get a brain bleed and die, or fall asleep drunk and get burned alive due to a neglected cigarette. It sounds like to me she needs to get a psychiatric evaluation. If being a danger to oneself is competent I would be filing multiple complaints against that doctor...she needs psychiatry to evaluate her. Still, doctors make mistakes--that's why there are injury lawyers all over the place. Man I would be contacting lawyers if I were you. When my mom was alive I really did fight for her, and when she died of natural causes I have a clear conscience because I did all I could for her.

If you don't care about your mom and what she dies, then leave her to her own devices. Death will cure everything, but getting burned alive is not a pleasant way to die. If she lives in an apartment complex, she may even kill other people including children due to fire. Human fat is HIGHLY combustible and can cause an explosion.

You can do what you want--that's your mom. But what you do or do not do, YOU MUST LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES.

Depends how much you love your mom and how much you are willing to do for her. Someone 88 is far, far different and much more vulnerable than someone in their 40's.
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swanalaka Oct 25, 2020
Getting her evicted from her apartment doesn't solve anything. Where would she go? And she would still drink and smoke wherever she was.
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I have read many of the responses to this post. Ideas range from making your 88-year old mother go through detox; getting her involved in AA; forcing her into some assisted living facility where she'll be unable to drink or smoke; or continuing to watch her walk to the liquor store for alcohol and cigarettes, even in the snow and ice.

I come from an alcoholic family in which most members were also were addicted to nicotine. I understand the evils of both these addictions. However, if this was my mom, and these were her addictions, I'd want most of all to keep her from falling in the snow, injuring herself during her walk, or being hit by a car during her walk.

I think it's about acceptance. She's not going to join AA; she's not going to voluntarily move to a facility; she's going to get her alcohol and nicotine, no matter how she has to do it. This is how it is. As her doctor says, she has the right to make her own decisions. They may not be the decisions one wishes their mom would make, but this is the reality. I'd get her the alcohol and cigarettes she wants/needs, with no discussion. I gave up my own addiction to nicotine after a massive psychological and physical struggle, but I was only 44 years old. My father gave up his addiction to alcohol, but it took jail terms and so much pain to do so. Let your mom be. Try to remember the good times, and enjoy the time you have left with her. Don't let others guilt you about this. You have the right to make your own peace with this. We are thinking of you.
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Bridger46164 Oct 24, 2020
Mary 9999, Thank you for sharing your own struggles and those of your own family.
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jsj
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Imho, there a number of factors to consider. You SHOULD NOT and CANNOT enable your mother's alcohol addiction. But as she is hooked, she will continue to find a way to purchase the alcohol, even if it means risking life and limb. Only she can stop this consumption, but she must not stop suddenly. If she wishes to cease, she could enter a rehab center where they will taper off gradually. Prayers sent.
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No-- don't be an enabler-- put her in an assisted living and they will give her alcoholic treatment meds. Lock her up-- be strong--- Tough Love. Don't be a wimp !
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DugganB Oct 24, 2020
Go see her banker and doctor-- get POA ship and take the wheel. Be THAT Daughter. Yes she will have a bad detox-- but better than seeing her die in the street.
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I do not think it would be appropriate for me to advise you either way. However, I would point that alcohol withdrawal is potentially life threatening. It can cause seizures, DTs and possible death. Alcoholics need to be medically detoxed
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NeedHelpWithMom Oct 24, 2020
Many of us have been warning the OP of this. It’s extremely dangerous to quit abruptly. Thanks for supporting these facts.
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I can't believe a doctor would allow an alcoholic to go and buy liquor. Can you get another doctor who can/would help you? If she flatly refuses to stop and won't accept help, the only thing I can think of is that you contact the liquor store/management and make it certain (in writing is best) that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE THEY ALLOWED TO SELL HER ANY LIQUOR. And if she gets it and brings it home, find out where she hides it and DESTROY IT AT ONCE. You may need to speak to an eldercare attorney or people who deal with alcoholics BUT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU BUY IT FOR HER NO MATTER WHAT SHE DOES OR THREATENS. And if she falls or has an accident, that could be a blessing in disguise as she would probably be put into the hospital and then released to a facility for rehab or permanent stay which would solve the problems for you and for her safety.
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elaine1962 Oct 24, 2020
Lockett, she is 88 years old. She’s competent. She is a grown woman who can make her own decisions.

If she wants to drink, let her drink. What else does she have to look forward to?
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Annemculver said it best. ONLY an alcoholic can save him or herself. YOU can’t!

I’ll say it louder for the people in the back of the room can hear. ONLY THE ALCOHOLIC CAN SAVE HIM OR HERSELF. YOU CAN’T!
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AlvaDeer Oct 24, 2020
Amen.
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Is it even legal to order alcohol for home delivery?
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elaine1962 Oct 24, 2020
Yes, in Upstate New York it is legal, ESPECIALLY during the pandemic. It’s considered essential.
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My sister is a self-admitted "wino." She would drink three liters of cheap red wine every day from noon until bedtime. Her doctor did NOT suggest cutting her off. He did suggest cutting the wine with water 50/50. I do not tell her that her wine is watered and she does not seem to know the difference. She still drinks three liters a day but now she is getting one and a half liters of water. She will not drink water on her own. Now, she is somewhat better hydrated. When we go out, I quietly take the waitstaff person aside and ask that my sister's wine be diluted. They are very happy to do so as the price is the same and my sister is happy if oblivious to the deception.
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Reply to MAJcare
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Winter is coming, at least in my hemisphere. She’s 88 and almost blind. I would buy her the liquor and cigarettes without judgment. She probably doesn’t want to have to depend on you to buy her liquor since you’ve refused before, and she HAS to have it, as well as her cigarettes.
Maybe you can tell her you were worried about her safety, since falls are dangerous, and suggest she let you buy her liquor and cigarettes for a little while just to see how it goes. She may be too ashamed/proud to ask your help. Once she trusts you to do it, it hopefully should just become routine.
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