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Old 01-22-2013, 09:02 AM   #1
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Question Mom as late stage alcoholic with possible Alcoholic Induced Dementia

Hi all,
Just wanted to get some feedback.
My parents both live on the west coast (still married) I live on the east coast. My Dad advised me last week he believes my 59 year old Mom has alcohol induced dementia.
Heres the kicker. My Mom of course, does not believe she has a problem. I think my Mom has been a serious alcoholic 25 years or so. She will not admit it to the doctors and she barely even seeks any sort of regular care. She has had one car accident this past summer which now my Dad says he's a bit "confused" by as it was in a parking lot with one other car. She ran into the only other car in the parking lot.
Thankfully now Dad is finally starting to possibly accept that his wife is an alcoholic however he has a somewhat skewed idea of alcoholism (which does not include abstaining from alcohol)
Its kind of your classic co dependent type of idea.
So, now that I've given some background I just want to see what others say I can do to help my Dad (mostly) out.
My biggest fear is my Mom will go out to go get her "supplies" one of these days and hit someone with the car. She has no drivers license so even right now she's driving illegally.
Any suggestions? I'm limited on what I can do here on the east coast and as a recovering alcoholic myself I know there is only so much I can do to help. She kind of has to want to help herself.

 
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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Re: Mom as late stage alcoholic with possible Alcoholic Induced Dementia

Having had a friend go thru this in the past few years, I have only two suggestions:

get a divorce or a legal separation with his name off anything she has access to. This is so the responsibilty for damages does not come back on him. It's for his own protection. Even when my friend's wife stated she wanted to drink herself to death and the courts appointed a guardian ad litum for her, the judge would not commit her, saying it was her right to do so. It took a while - about 2 years - but she finally managed to do it.

 
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:32 AM   #3
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Re: Mom as late stage alcoholic with possible Alcoholic Induced Dementia

Dear Munchkin, I am sorry that your parents are going through this. You said your father believes your mother has alcohol-induced dementia. However, you did not say what symptoms led him to that conclusion. Running into the only other car in an otherwise empty parking lot may not have anything to do with dementia, but more about her being drunk. Ditto for a lot of other issues such as lack of alertness, confusion, and personality changes.

Certainly, without the dementia that can arise from chronic, longterm excess alcohol consumption, alcoholism by itself is rough. Has your mother been checked out recently, e.g. blood tests, especially in regard to liver and renal functions? Vitamin and other dietary deficiencies usually contribute to the progression of brain decline in alcoholics. One particularly essential vitamin, but not the only one, is thiamine.

The very unfortunate thing about alcoholism is that in order to be helped, the afflicted individual has to acknowledge the problem and want to be helped.

Last edited by Luau; 01-23-2013 at 08:35 AM.

 
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:14 AM   #4
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Re: Mom as late stage alcoholic with possible Alcoholic Induced Dementia

Munchkin,
I am sorry that your Mom has dementia due to drinking.
First of all, I don't recommend the divorce as it would take away your Dad's right to be her caregiver or guardian. Make sure your Dad or you have the medical POA for Mom so you guys can decide for her what is the best option. Say, AL or home care and etc.
Naturally she won't admit. Most people don't admit they have dementia. Your Dad needs to make sure she doesn't drive out illegally as well as going out to get more beers by herself. She may even get lost and etc. She will also not remember how many beers she had and etc. It is like a double dose: dementia and drinking.
I would suggest that Dad does anything to stop the car. Remove her car or take away the battery of the car. Take away the keys so she cannot have access. Do this without telling her. It may sound cruel but this is caregiving for dementia unless you want to wait until accidents to happen.
It is good that Dad is facing it so you probably are in shock. You may want to stay with her for 10 days or so on vacation to see it yourself.
You cannot make her understand and later on she will not understand as she would get sicker.
Anyway, remove her car and stop her credit card and etc. Control the buying power (only Dad or you can buy.) It is important to prevent her from having an accident or drinking too much.
I heard that demented person who gets dementia due to alcohol can recover by stopping drinking if it is not too late.

Hugs,
Nina

 
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