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My father is 77 years old and lives alone. I am 51, married, with grown children - but am an only child. My fathers cognitive and physical health has been declining rapidly for the past 3 years. I admit I knew about his drinking, but I really didn’t want to believe it was as bad as it was. Recently my father was admitted into the hospital because he could barely walk. A battery of tests were run and surprisingly everything came back normal. After a neurologist’s exam, it was detected that all of his cognitive and physical impairments were due to alcoholism. Now what? I have had a heart to heart with my dad and he seems to understand, although now he’s in the thick of a massive detox. After 4 days in the hospital he is going to a rehab facility to try and gain some skills back through pt and ot. After rehab, I’m at a loss. I’ve suggested he move many times. I’ve pointed out the benefits of 55+ Housing and assisted living communities. He wanted no part of it (of course that’s when he was still drinking). I’m not sure how long he will remain in the rehab facility but I need a plan for next steps. He seems willing to try to stop drinking but I can see the look in his face that this is a feat that seems monumental. Even with the help of an aide, I think going back to the house that you drank all day every day in can’t be a good thing. Does anyone have any experience with this type of thing? I would be willing to have him come to my house but I can’t do it if I have to fight every day about the drinking. I’m at a loss and I worry for him (and for me.) It’s tearing me apart and I just don’t know what to do

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Reply to Annabox
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When Seeana says the rest is up to you, she doesn't mean you keep him sober.  I believe she means the tough love of keeping your ultimatum, such as "stay sober and get support, or you won't live here (or see the family?)  Whatever you deem necessary, and don't get cajoled out of.  In AA people share their own stories, and how they got sober and stayed sober.  They have experienced your Dad's pain and hopelessness, and he can start to hope again.  Prayers to you, and BIG ((HUGS))
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
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Thank you
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Reply to Annabox
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Its hard I know but its a matter of tough love.When he comes out of rehab take him for a drive to see the over 55 + housing he might get a good surprise.
It seems you are doing every thing you can to help your Dad bless your heart' but if he doesn't want it there is not much you can do.
This is where tough love comes in as his antics are affecting your health and of course that of your family, just tell him you have had enough and give him an ultimatum and see what happens.
The rest is up to you.
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Thank you so much for your inspirational (and caring) response. So far I don’t see many of the classic detox signs (like tremors, shakes or naysay). I have however witnessed the hopelessness in his eyes and a few bouts of anxiousness and anger plus tremendous fatigue and even pain that he’s never felt before. (They said that alcohol masks any pain so now everything is magnified 100%). He tells me he’s going to try to do this but I know he can’t do it alone and realistically he can’t go home after rehab. What you’ve said about 24 hr monitoring is something I have already thought about. The doctors haven’t told me whether they think he will recover mentally or physically - the only thing they can tell me is that as long as he doesn’t drink, it won’t get worse. I want him to see the good that life has to offer - even if he has already done so much damage to his body. He has lived like a homeless person for years. He lies about working still and going to the gym (both of which he no longer does). I truly believe he thinks if he says these lies out loud, he won’t feel so bad about reality. I’ve always tried to respectfully offer suggestions without making it seem like my way is the right way (because it’s quite obvious that even before his alcoholism was put on the table, we both knew we were so so different). Right now, he is dealing with reality. His detox is taking its toll on his 77 year old body - although I keep telling him this is normal with alcohol withdrawal. If living with my family will make him happy and could help him see that he can have a somewhat normal life - I’m up for it. But if I have to live my life walking on eggshells trying to convince him that he has a life worth living - I’m afraid I may go before him! I need to speak with the doctor in the rehab (he was transferred there tonight from the hospital). I’m hoping he gives PT and OT his all and is willing to fight for what I’ve been fighting for for the past 4 years. Thank you again so much for caring enough to respond.
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Reply to Annabox
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I pick up on a thread of assumed defeat that runs through your post. Yes, this will be a daunting task. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. The alcohol may no longer be present, but the urge is always there. A devil sits on the shoulder saying, “Go ahead! What’s the harm? You deserve a few drinks. You can handle it!”

You and Dad are not alone in this. You can get help after he’s discharged and so can he. If the rehab doesn’t have a social worker, the hospital he’s at does. He needs 24 hour supervision or he will start drinking again. Have you been given a prognosis of how far he will be able to “come back” from the damage the alcohol has caused? This is when you make your decisions about an aide or a facility. If he has blackouts, is a fall risk or is at a point that he will not be able to remember to care for himself, he will need to go to a facility and not back to his home with an aide. A 24/7 aide will be very expensive. If he moves in with you, you may have to quit your job, if you work, to supervise him. And you will need to learn how to do it without seeming like a prison guard.

Rely on the experts where Dad is to help you. There is no such thing as a silly question. Ask them to help you put together a plan for after discharge. Learn what to do to help Dad navigate the path to his recovery. Do join Al-anon. And good luck. I’m sending you every good wish and hope for success.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Can someone from Alcoholics Anonymous visit him in rehab?  He will need a support system of sober alcoholics when he gets out.  He cannot be forced to stay sober unless he's in a locked ward, or really wants to be sober and does the work needed, if he is still capable.  An Al-Anon group or readings on the topic of codependency, or enabling, might help you.  It'll at least help you decide about taking him in.  A hospital social worker might also be a help for placement ideas.
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Annabox Dec 26, 2018
Thank you so much. Your answer was very helpful.
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Alcoholism is a disease that affects the entire family. I suggest you contact a local Alanon group. It's for families of alcoholics who need answers about nature of alcoholism.
Alanon taught me 3 C's...
I didn't Cause it
I can't Control it
I can't Cure it
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Annabox Dec 26, 2018
I have thought about Alanon. I want to help him but it’s so hard.
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There is a drug that is used to make people nauseous if they drink alcohol. I forget its name. Perhaps you could check out that option.
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