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-   -   Alcohol Dementia... At a loss (https://www.neurotalk.org/dementia/222845-alcohol-dementia-loss.html)

lockwood925 07-11-2015 01:25 PM

Alcohol Dementia... At a loss
 
Hi there,
I'm reaching out to find some advice for my Dad who has alcohol dementia. The issue is that he refuses to believe anything is wrong with him and is starting to get verbally aggressive towards my mother and even other family members, which was never an issue before. He is refusing to see a doctor, will not quit drinking, and is starting to become unhinged.

My mom took him to a psychologist a year ago and he received a cat scan and was told by this doctor that his brain is deteriorating and that he has alcohol dementia and that if he wants to live a fuller and longer life, he needs to quit drinking. He quit drinking for about 6 weeks and relapsed last July. We have all tried talking to him about it recently and even in the last 10 years when he started to drink a lot. He has said that he'll never quit drinking so we are trying to accept this.

But if he is starting to become a little crazy and unstable, what do you do when he refuses help or will not listen to us? He won't join a rehab center either. Nothing is working and we have no idea who to turn to for help anymore. He retired 15 years ago with no plan. He has no money to his name and is living off of my mother and the SS he receives from the government. We are going to take away the car keys soon but how will he react to us when we do that? We are very uneasy with this.

Please help in any way you can. Like I said, we are at a loss.

Thank you very much.

mrsD 07-11-2015 01:33 PM

This is a very difficult and sad place your family is in.

You could try contacting Social Services in your area for help or advice in getting him into the hospital. If he has a diagnosis of
dementia, that might qualify for involuntary commitment --at least to dry him out. He would need medical supervision to come off the alcohol, since he might go into DT's if it were done suddenly.

If you are a member of a church, perhaps there would be aid there for you? Emotional support etc?

Kitt 07-11-2015 01:47 PM

Welcome lockwood925. :Wave-Hello:

EnglishDave 07-11-2015 04:59 PM

Hi Lockwood,

This is a very difficult situation, and will become more and more draining on all the family as he deteriorates. My Mother suffered rapid onset Alzheimer's with aggression and hallucinations, and her GP stripped her of her Driving Licence during a routine check-up. My Mother became so angry they had to phone the Police to detain her at the Surgery until my Sister drove over an hour to collect her and take her home. Then it turned out her car wasn't licenced to be on the road and she had let her insurance lapse due to memory loss. We had no idea, she had become so adept at fooling us.

As your Father is knowingly damaging himself in the face of Medical advice, I would go with MrsD's suggestion and involve Social Services for the Greater Good and the safety of others. It will be in his best interests eventually, even if he cannot see it now.

You also seem to be bothered by your Mum enabling by being the breadwinner. Can you break this cycle by having her stay with you for a few days - assuming you have your own place and room - only leaving Dad with food, but no money?

Whatever you decide, you will have to stand solid as.a family and not waver once you set your course. I wish you luck and wish you and your family well.

Dave.

melan24 07-30-2015 02:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lockwood925 (Post 1154323)
Hi there,
I'm reaching out to find some advice for my Dad who has alcohol dementia. The issue is that he refuses to believe anything is wrong with him and is starting to get verbally aggressive towards my mother and even other family members, which was never an issue before. He is refusing to see a doctor, will not quit drinking, and is starting to become unhinged.

My mom took him to a psychologist a year ago and he received a cat scan and was told by this doctor that his brain is deteriorating and that he has alcohol dementia and that if he wants to live a fuller and longer life, he needs to quit drinking. He quit drinking for about 6 weeks and relapsed last July. We have all tried talking to him about it recently and even in the last 10 years when he started to drink a lot. He has said that he'll never quit drinking so we are trying to accept this.

But if he is starting to become a little crazy and unstable, what do you do when he refuses help or will not listen to us? He won't join a rehab center either. Nothing is working and we have no idea who to turn to for help anymore. He retired 15 years ago with no plan. He has no money to his name and is living off of my mother and the SS he receives from the government. We are going to take away the car keys soon but how will he react to us when we do that? We are very uneasy with this.

Please help in any way you can. Like I said, we are at a loss.

Thank you very much.

So sad to hear about your situation. I know how difficult it would be to get through this situation. I had a similar story with my dad. He was an alcohol addict and the main thing was, he never accepted himself as an addict and always refused to get treatments. Gradually his situation becomes worse and worse, he had almost every health problems that an addict will have. Every doctor we went had only one statement to make, that is there is no use treating my dad unless he stops drinking. It took a great effort to convince my dad to attend a rehabilitation programme in a nearby alcohol addiction treatment centre ** So I guess rehab might be the only choice left. Convince your father anyway possible and hope for the good.

CaptainChaos 08-03-2020 10:29 PM

There is a form of Alcohol related dementia called Korsakoff's Syndrome that can result from alcohol misuse. It is generally caused by severe lack of Thiamine (vitamin B-1), which is a result of alcohol abuse. There are other conditions that can cause Korsakoff's as well but long term alcohol abuse is the most common. Wernicke's Encephalopathy can also develop causing gait problems. Once the nutrient deficiencies are corrected and the alcohol is cleared from the system the Wernicke's will reverse itself but memory problems will remain unfortunately. Obviously only a neurologist can make a definitive diagnosis, but where long term alcoholism is concerned, Korsakoff's is a more likely suspect than Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Hope that info helps, I just happened across it when I was studying up on Alzheimer's to learn more about my dad's condition...


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