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    Old 03-31-2005, 01:55 PM   #1
    celizscott
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    What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    [B]I am new to the boards and barely had time to read the directions. I did not know if I was to open a new "thread" or new "post". I am sorry if I did it wrong. I went to visit my father in another town because my brother had stopped caring for him. My brother has been sober for about 3 weeks now and cannot live with my alcoholic father. I am a single working mother of two children and am very busy. My father insisted on coming back with me and thinks he is going to stay. He has alcoholic dimentia. He was once hospitalized for this five months ago. I brought him home from the hospital and my bothers and I took turns taking care of him and my ailing mother. Both have led a destructive lifestyle and I slowly detached from them because of this. My mother died a week after I brought my Father home. She had empheysema, diabetes and other ailments. i resented her toward the end of her life and felt she was selfish to put all of us through the constant burdens of taking care of her,she was only in her 50's as is my father and could care less about herself or her health. She couldn't quit smoking and her diabetes was constantly out of control. She died as a relsult of a fire in which her cigarette fell on her oxygen cord. My parents were both in the burn unit together and my father survived. He drinks so much I dont' know how he is still alive. He doesn't seem intoxicated - I don't know why that is ,but the dimentia is very evident. He was lost the other day while I was at work. My son found him on the corner in my flowered bathrobe. I don't know what to do with him short of abandoning him in which I cannot bring myself to do. He cannot take care of himself. When I initially went to visit him he hadn't eaten for days or bathed (in several weeks) his hair was matted and I had to cut it all off. I feel like I have a new born baby! If I don't feed him he won't eat, I have to give him his medicine and do everything. If he had cancer I would feel differently about this. He has destroyed his life and like my mother is going to take everyone around him down too. Whats ironic about all of this is that it is the only time in my life I have had pleasant (although nonsensical )conversation with him. He was abnoxious, extremely aggravating and intoxicated all my life ( to put it nicely). His Dr. is no help to me and I can't understand the new one. I am in the field of social work and have looked into other agencies and he qualifies for nothing. He can't be put into a home,he can't stay alone and he shouldn't be with me. I don't want my own children to watch him drink himself to death. They are in counselling and are victims of a terrible crime that occured only a year ago. So here I am trying to make my children understand that life goes on and the world doesn't stop because of what happend to them and that they will perservere and overcome their challenges - and yet I let this helpless and pitiful man take over my kids bedroom and essentially my life. Recovery is not an option -his mind is gone. He can't remember anything I said five minutes before. Does anyone else have this problem? Is letting him go back to his own apartment out of town my only option? I was just beginning to feel as if I had control of my life cut out from all of the drama of my severely addicted family (which is all of them). It has taken several years for me to turn my head the other way, accept that others will change on their own time and not on mine and stop worrying about everyone else and focus on my own children and be happy. Now it seems I have no choice.

    Last edited by celizscott; 03-31-2005 at 01:59 PM.

     
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    Old 03-31-2005, 02:53 PM   #2
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    celizscott, I have not had to personally go through this, however i wanted to tell you that my heart goes out to you. As far as your father not qualifying for any type of help or programs is fully understandable, i realize that your father wouldnt really be considered elderly, but for older sick people the lack of help and programs as well as "not qualifying" is an growing epidemic in America. It is very unfortunate. Because of your fathers health condition does he qualify or recieve Social Security Disability or some kind of money? If he does it probably wouldnt be nearly enough to pay if he were to be put in a nursing home or a personnal care home.

    You are really in a tough situation. Sure you could let him go back to his apartment but as you said he isnt even capable of taking care of himself or even to be able to live day to day safely. What would happen if he went back to his apartment and then called the social services in his area or even the area agency on aging and told them that he is a danger to himself and that he is incapable of taking care of himself and that it isnt an option for you to take care of him, wouldnt they then have to do home visits and when they see what is going on they would have to do something? I mean really, if he lives in an apartment then obviously there must be at least another apartment in the same building, if he were to be staying there alone he very well might possibly be putting other people in the building in danger, for example if he were to start a fire. I dont know, i am rambling on, these are just some thoughts. There has to be some sort of loop hole or clause in some type of program where he could get some help.

    I wish you luck and just remember, he may be your father but your children must come first at all cost. Especially if they have been through something traumatic, they need to have your full attention and not have something else devastating in their llives that could have been prevented.

    Maybe someone else on here will have some good advice to offer!

    ValleyGurl

     
    Old 03-31-2005, 03:42 PM   #3
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    As an adult child of an alcholic, my heart goes out to you. I can empathize with some of your story, but you make me realize that when I thought I had it bad there is someone who has it just as bad if not worse. Keep the faith, as it will pass. My Mother died of Alcholism 2 1/2 yrs ago. She too had lost her mind (wet brain) and her health (liver etc.) . A blessing that she was taken out of her pain. It was so hard; she was completely insane the last few years of her life. We let her live and drink and eventually she fell and ended up in a nursing home.They gave her a year to live and she died in the ICU via a nursing home, 4 mos after the fall. I was with her in the end at the home & hospital-almost every day after admittance but before that I had to let her live alone and do what she needed to do, even if it was to drink herself to insanity and death... literally. This was the hardest thing to do. Maybe letting your Dad go is your best option. Maybe he will do something to qualify for that home? My Dad and I both left my Mother alone and kept minimal contact with her - it would hurt us too much if we remained too close. When she was too sick to fight - ie in the hospital, I was able to be by her side. I was and still am POWERLESS.

    You are right to detach. You have children to devote yourself to and they need you. It sounds like you have learned accpetance and you are so right to detach yourself and your children. YOU deserve a good life and so do they - YOU are NOT RESPONSIBLE for your Dad.

    The things that I did do, and it sounds like you have done them already, even if they did not help my Mom, they did help me in the end because I knew I did all that I could do... I called the family doctor, met with counselor, tried to get support from the family and friends she had not alienated completely, went to ALANON, and met with a alcholol/drug abuse counselor that was a friends' relative. Eventually I let he nurses at the home take the brunt of the burden of her care off of me as my Dad was COMPLETELY detached. If your Dad does not qualify now eventually he will. I hope it happens quickly and does not take more tragedy and pain for you and your family.

    My prayers are with you and your children, and even your Dad. You obviously are a wonderful and generous person to be so compassionate despite your pain... don't be too hard on yourself you are doing more than most people would as it is.

    -Lisa

    Last edited by 2bclean; 03-31-2005 at 04:06 PM.

     
    Old 03-31-2005, 10:32 PM   #4
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    Hi. Man, your post brought me back to where I was a year ago. My dad is an alcoholic who is no longer drinking (not recovering, there's a difference). He has alzheimer's. His doctor said it could have been brought on by his drinking in the past. I so struggled with the past while watching my dad being stripped of his memories. At the same time, I saw the personality changes that reminded me of my horrible childhood and how dad was when he drank. I can only imagine what it would be like if he were still drinking.

    Have you been in contact with a senior center in your area? I know your dad's not old enough to be considered a senior. But maybe someone there can direct you to someone who can help place your dad somewhere that will be a safe place for him and give you some peace of mind.

    This is not a healthy situation for your children or you. But I wouldn't reccomend sending your dad back to his apartment for the fact that if something horrible were to happen, you'd feel terrible about that. This is also the reason your father shouldn't be staying with you either. He needs to be in a place that is safe for him too.

    It's sad when people need help and can't get it. Either they don't have the money or they're not old enough or not sick enough. And the caregivers pay the enormous price.

    Check out the alzheimer's and dementia board here. There are people who are very experienced with this sort of thing there. Like you said, it's too late for recovery for your dad although I suspect there will come a day where he won't drink anymore due to the dementia. Kind of odd, isn't it?

    When my dad was first diagnosed with alzheimer's, he was exibiting behaviors of the man who drank all through my childhood. For a while, I found it impossible to distinguish between the alcoholic behaviors and the alzheimer's behaviors. They seemed to go hand in hand. Then I realized that it really didn't matter what caused the behavior. Alcoholism and alzheimer's are both diseases. My dad didn't intend on having either of them.

    I hate both diseases for the pain they've caused me and my family. I hated my dad for many years too. Today, I don't hate him. I do love him but I don't think I've completely forgiven him. I don't know that I can. I hope someday I'll be able to. Maybe, someday.

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    Old 04-01-2005, 06:44 AM   #5
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    not to be a fearmonger, but in some states, if you take care of them and then abandon them, there are legal issues. i would find out what they are before doing anything else.

     
    Old 04-01-2005, 02:12 PM   #6
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    I agree. It could be considered as abuse in some states.
    Al-Anon is great and has helped me to better understand and deal with both diseases in my dad.
    An alcoholic with dementia is very different from an alcoholic without dementia and cannot be treated the same. An alcoholic without dementia can recover from alcoholism. An alcoholic with dementia has no hope for recovery. Although they may stop drinking, dementia never gets better. It only gets worse. There are also legal things that need to be done to protect the patient and caregiver.
    Please check out the alzheimers and dementia board.
    And please post back to us. We care.
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    Old 04-01-2005, 02:15 PM   #7
    celizscott
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    Update: Thank you all for your help and advise. I find it very comforting. I took my father to the ER last night. He was very very anxious and scared and said he had chest pains and couldn't breath well. Well they admited him and as I figured he was lacking potassium and other things in his system from all the alcohol and it has contributed to his dimentia. I am releived as they are going to find a placement. I had to refuse to bring him home today and they now want me to explain this to him as he is looking forward to coming home with me. This is what I have been wanting and yet I feel so horrible and sad right now. I realize their is no other alternative and I am glad I posted yesterday and recieved so much support from all of you - had I not, I would feel a lot worse than I do. I expect this to be pretty gut wrenching as he is looking forward to staying with us, but knowing Im not alone is helping. Thank you all.

     
    Old 04-01-2005, 02:54 PM   #8
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    It's normal to feel the way you do. But once you tell your dad and take the time you need to absorb all of this, you'll feel better. He may be angry with you for a while but he will be in the safest place for him.
    You should never feel guilty for doing all you could do. We all have our limits. YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING! Remember that. Keep telling yourself that. This is the opportunity you needed to get you to the point that you're able to tell him he can't come home with you. Don't back out of it. Stick to your guns. It's going to be hard but you will make it through and so will he. This is the most caring, loving thing you can do for your dad.
    Barb
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    Old 04-01-2005, 04:00 PM   #9
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    That was a very real story and you are very honest. I am sure you are not alone. I will pray for you and your situation. That has to be really hard. Do remember that what ever you do is not something that you will be able to take back later. It sounds as if he might not have that much longer to go. Try to keep networking for someone to care for him or some kind of program.

     
    Old 04-01-2005, 06:23 PM   #10
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    I have been thinking so much about your story. I am so happy for you that you were able to get him into a place. There is truly nothing you can do when an alocholic won't stop drinking. Heck, my Mom told the doc's she was drinking in the nursing home?!?!? I could not have stopped her - I was so powerless, and still so sad. Now you don't have to be the bad guy- refusing to give the drink and your family won't suffer the way children suffer when living with an active alcholic. I was able to visit my Mom every day and do her hair, bring her little treats, and let her know I love her in an environment that was safe for me and for her. It looks like you have been given the same gift. I am trying not to give any specific advice and just share with you my experience. I must say that in the end my Mom took my hand and told me that she loved me the night before she passed. I have tears in my eyes as I write this. Maybe you are one of the few people who my experience can help.

    I am at peace knowing that when I could be with her I was, and I did everything possible to make her feel loved, happy and comfortable. Everything, that is, that did not cause me to hurt myself or others. Had I had her at home and not in the nursing home I would not have been able to be as compassionate and loving as I was. She wanted to come home but she also wanted to drink and she did have wet brain (dementia caused by alcholism). Saying no was not easy but in my heart I know that it was the right thing. I so needed the help of the nurses etc. and again, I was not the bad guy anymore - it was not me denying her.


    I was free of resentment and filled with love as I sat by herside and just wanted her to be at peace. That in itself was a gift because I was filled with anger towards her alocholism - I STILL HATE THIS DISEASE - for a long time before this happened.

    My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. It is my belief that God is doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves, when we let him ( / or her)... You are not alone.
    -L

     
    Old 04-02-2005, 06:58 AM   #11
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    I am very glad you were able to get him into somewhere. Just tell him that you love him, and that the kind of problems he has you are not able to care for, but that you will be there for him and support him through this. Tell him that just because he can't come home with you does not mean that you do not love him. It means you love him even more because it is the hardest thing to do.

     
    Old 04-02-2005, 08:45 AM   #12
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    Re: What to do about alcoholic dimentia?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by celizscott
    [B]I am new to the boards and barely had time to read the directions. I did not know if I was to open a new "thread" or new "post". I am sorry if I did it wrong. I went to visit my father in another town because my brother had stopped caring for him. My brother has been sober for about 3 weeks now and cannot live with my alcoholic father. I am a single working mother of two children and am very busy. My father insisted on coming back with me and thinks he is going to stay. He has alcoholic dimentia. He was once hospitalized for this five months ago. I brought him home from the hospital and my bothers and I took turns taking care of him and my ailing mother. Both have led a destructive lifestyle and I slowly detached from them because of this. My mother died a week after I brought my Father home. She had empheysema, diabetes and other ailments. i resented her toward the end of her life and felt she was selfish to put all of us through the constant burdens of taking care of her,she was only in her 50's as is my father and could care less about herself or her health. She couldn't quit smoking and her diabetes was constantly out of control. She died as a relsult of a fire in which her cigarette fell on her oxygen cord. My parents were both in the burn unit together and my father survived. He drinks so much I dont' know how he is still alive. He doesn't seem intoxicated - I don't know why that is ,but the dimentia is very evident. He was lost the other day while I was at work. My son found him on the corner in my flowered bathrobe. I don't know what to do with him short of abandoning him in which I cannot bring myself to do. He cannot take care of himself. When I initially went to visit him he hadn't eaten for days or bathed (in several weeks) his hair was matted and I had to cut it all off. I feel like I have a new born baby! If I don't feed him he won't eat, I have to give him his medicine and do everything. If he had cancer I would feel differently about this. He has destroyed his life and like my mother is going to take everyone around him down too. Whats ironic about all of this is that it is the only time in my life I have had pleasant (although nonsensical )conversation with him. He was abnoxious, extremely aggravating and intoxicated all my life ( to put it nicely). His Dr. is no help to me and I can't understand the new one. I am in the field of social work and have looked into other agencies and he qualifies for nothing. He can't be put into a home,he can't stay alone and he shouldn't be with me. I don't want my own children to watch him drink himself to death. They are in counselling and are victims of a terrible crime that occured only a year ago. So here I am trying to make my children understand that life goes on and the world doesn't stop because of what happend to them and that they will perservere and overcome their challenges - and yet I let this helpless and pitiful man take over my kids bedroom and essentially my life. Recovery is not an option -his mind is gone. He can't remember anything I said five minutes before. Does anyone else have this problem? Is letting him go back to his own apartment out of town my only option? I was just beginning to feel as if I had control of my life cut out from all of the drama of my severely addicted family (which is all of them). It has taken several years for me to turn my head the other way, accept that others will change on their own time and not on mine and stop worrying about everyone else and focus on my own children and be happy. Now it seems I have no choice.

    Celiz,

    Is there any type of conservatorship within in your state? I believe you would have to relinquish all rights over his care to the state. Contact your state social services to have a conservator look over his needs. My wife works in this area, he would considered a ward of the state.

    I am sorry this is happening to you and your family.

    Andrew

     
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