Two alcohol related falls in the past year that resulted in trips to the ER. My mom lived independently until October 2019. She moved into assisted living in Oct. Her driving license has been suspended since Dec 2019 (because of concerns with her driving abilities and dementia). In Oct and Nov she did not drink any alcohol because she did not bring her car to the assisted living. In Dec she had "friends" that took her to activities and were willing to stop at the liquor store on the way back from events. Noticed changes in her behavior in Dec so I could tell she was drinking again. Found the bottle in her apt and got rid of it. Fairly certain she will go back with the "friend" and stop at the liquor store.
She has been scammed by phone scammers in the past (to the tune of almost $20,000) so I have credit cards, check book and health insurance cards in my possession. Debit card was cancelled last time someone scammed her and I will keep that card, as well.
How aggressive should I be about getting rid of this new bottle of vodka she will probably bring back to her apartment?
How well does it work to set boundaries to say that I won't stop by/take her places/take calls from her if she has vodka in her apartment? She hides the bottles (and frequently forgets where they are). She also insists that in spite of 25+ stitches to her head and two trips to the ER because of falls when she is intoxicated that she does not "over indulge."
She has cash (about $200) in her wallet and at some point she will run out, at which point I can limit how much money she has and when she gets it - any suggestions on what to do until then?
I am her POA.

Nothing works with alcoholism. I have seen people get a huge amount of listerine delivered to their house. Lots of alcohol in it. Alcoholics will find a way to get it. And to withdraw suddenly when one is an alcoholic can be not only dangerous, but deadly. Sadly there is not a lot to be done. Things will go their course and there will eventually be a fall that will take the person into care. When that happens it is CRUCIAL that they understand the level of alcoholism, so that withdrawal can be done with medications, and safely. Sadly, this is a massive problem in our society, and I have seen it play out in quite dreadful ways. So very sorry. You are not alone in this. Please go to Al-Anon meetings where you will meet people who have good information for you.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

I normally advise people who are worried about a loved one’s addiction “there is nothing you can do.” That’s because it has to come from within ones own self to work.

However, this is your mom and she’s at the end of her life. One would hope to have good relations.

If she is in denial, she will find a way to get her drinks. Sadly, she will either hurt herself seriously or suffer some type of alcohol related illness that will address this issue.

As long as it is not causing you any emotional pain, do you think you could accept her on her terms, vodka and all?

Good luck,

Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to CharK60

As loved ones of alcoholics, if we had the power and control to curb someone else's drinking alcoholism would be eradicated. Show me an alcoholic and I'll show you concerned family and friends who are completely powerless over their loved one's drinking. Trying to get your mom to stop drinking with various plans and ideas is a waste of time. I know you love her but that love cannot get your mom sober. She has to want to get sober and alcoholics will also profess the desire to quit just to get loved ones off their back.

Concentrate on what you can do: help her with her finances, keep her pill box filled and any other tasks she needs done. But her alcoholism is off the table. Her alcoholism will drive YOU crazy and drive HER crazy. It's not your job to get her sober, it's hers.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

You have done what you can to keep her safe financially.
Because she can not drive the Community is safe(r).
There is not much you can do to prevent her from getting alcohol. If you say she can not go out with these friends they will bring stuff in to her.
Even if you had her placed in a Memory Care area of the facility her friends could still bring in alcohol. (trust me they would get it to her)
As her cash runs out you can limit the amount of money she has on her. That in itself is a good thing but having even just a bit she will find a way to get the alcohol she so needs.
I guess what I am trying to say is You are not going to "win" this battle.
You can tell her that you will not deal with her when she is drinking or drunk. If you visit and she is drunk or drinking LEAVE. No discussion just leave.
Prepare yourself for the continued decline as it will happen.
Prepare for when she will have to go into the Memory Care area as it will happen sooner or later.
Or prepare yourself for the fatal fall that she might have at some time. Either a head trauma or a broken hip.
Addiction is not easy on the addict or the family and it is the family that deals with the aftermath.
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Reply to Grandma1954

I would contact the friends that you feel helped her get the Alcohol and bring them in on her situation and your concerns. Hopefully they will see the risks and comply with your request not to allow this to happen again. If she is on any medication for the dementia or of course some other medications she might be on are dangerous to mix with alcohol . But realistically you only have so much control. I pray for discernment and wisdom when caring for my loved ones in these situations and hopefully you will have the best solution for her as a result.
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Reply to Sheran

When my father was living in a secured MC, the staff could control what he got his hands on from outside sources. As guardian, I had complete authority to control his visitors and what they brought him. Dad was not an alcoholic but he did like some high sodium foods and drinks his late stage CHF and kidney disease prohibited if we didn't want his skin splitting from water retention (medications can only do so much). Dad had good things to eat, I spent a lot of time and effort cooking low sodium versions of his favorite foods and treats. After talking to his problematic visitor and coming to the conclusion no amount of talking would change her behavior, I put her on the restricted visitation list. She wan't allowed to bring anything into the MC when she visited. Food, drink, and purse had to remain in a secured locker while she visited in the MC area. She was mad as h3ll, but strangely my father defended me. Apparently he remembered being extremely uncomfortable from fluid retention following one of her earlier visits.

Sometimes you just have to do what you believe is in your LO's best interest. And sometimes you just have to accept there are limits to what you can do. Best wishes and good luck finding your own path thru the jungle.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to TNtechie

Set boundaries on what you will do with her when she has been drinking.
Manage her finances.
But you can't win the fight over her drinking. So leave it alone.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to MsRandall

Sometimes you cannot do anything. You can put them in the hospital over and over again they will just get released to do the same until she falls and breaks a hip and ends up in a nursing home. They will dry her up permanently in there. I just hope she no longer drives (without a license) because she will end up killing someone, then end up in prison and no alcohol in there.

If you get her Baker Acted chances are they will simply deem her competent, put her on meds and she will go home and go back drinking (with psychotropics in her system), then fall and break a hip. If they deem her incompetent she can end up in a nursing home and they will dry her up, but she may end up resenting you.

In short no matter what you do it's going to be hard. You could try getting her Baker Acted for psych eval and they can put her in a nursing home so at least she won't go around drunk--but don't be surprised they release her. I mean you can try.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to cetude

You must care for yourself and your family.
Learn about adult children of alcoholics and how to alleviate (as much as possible) the guilt you carry. There is also ALANON.
Remember that she is an ADULT and your childhood ( or adulthood) did NOT cause the drinking. It will be hard.
Love and visit her sober. You can leave when she is not sober. It will not change her, but you will not have to flash back to as many bad times.
Make sure her funeral is paid for.
It is awful to have to bury your parent, feel guilty for things out of your control, and mortgage your house to pay for a funeral..... all at once.
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Reply to Jo123456

She most likely suffers from alcoholic dementia and brain damage as a result of her heavy drinking. The only way to truly prevent her from drinking again is to have her placed in a secured Memory Care facility where she will have no access to liquor. I work in such a place and we have quite a few residents with Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome and other alcoholic dementias. Their family members had to place them in MC precisely so they would not be able to get their hands on booze anymore. One lady gets 2 non-alcoholic beers a day (O'Douls) prescribed by her doctor, which I find to be utterly ridiculous, personally. Kind of like telling a lung cancer patient he can vape instead of smoke now.

In any event, I don't think there's anything you can personally 'do' about this situation. An addict is going to get their substance of choice by hook or by crook, period. It's the nature of addiction, unfortunately. You can definitely limit her funds once she runs out, but at my mother's ALF, they have a Friday evening 'Happy Hour' with lots of access to wine and other spirits. There's one lady who gets drunk EVERY single week at that shindig, and all the other residents gossip about her. Sigh. Like I said......where there's a will, there's a way.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to lealonnie1

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