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mainejames

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Reply with quote  #1 
My father had a stroke about 10 years ago that left him paralyzed on his right side.  He has always had substance abuse issues stemming from a lifetime of anxiety/bipolar struggles, but now he is refusing to take his Wellbutrin, and is drinking liquor.  He has a Medical Marijuana card and smokes all day.  He is short tempered and belligerent now that he is off of the Wellbutrin, which is damaging all of his relationships.  He seems to have given up, and doesn't care about consequences. His stroke also affected his ability to discern cause/effect relationships.  At this point his significant other is at the end of her rope, and the relationship is badly damaged.  I think I need to find a place for him to live, as staying with me is not an option. I am so out of my league here, and possibly too emotionally close to make good decisions about the future. What do I do?
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Splotchy
Reply with quote  #2 
With people who have addictions and mental health issues, we often have to wait until a crisis hits before we can act on their behalf. It's frustrating and upsetting, but you cannot force another adult to act, even if those actions are in his best interests. So if your dad doesn't want to change or move, you may not have the power to force him. Having said that, there are some steps you can take now.

First, you can call your dad's doctor (or write to him/her) and relay the information you just presented.  HIPAA laws may prevent the doctor from sharing information with you, but nothing prevents you from sharing information with the doctor. The doctor may be able to help set up some services or provide additional oversight to help you manage your dad's situation. If nothing else, you will be on record as having brought these issues up in case they prove helpful in the future.  I'm guessing the doctor doesn't know that your dad is mixing alcohol and other substances.

You can also contact your local council of aging or elderly affairs office and explain the situation.  They may be able to get a social worker to visit and assess the situation.  If you can convince your dad to consider some sort of senior housing, they may be able to guide you as to how to proceed.  Keep in mind that although medical marijuana is legal, some facilities may have issues with his smoking it.

No matter where your dad lives, it would be ideal if he could address his mental health and addiction issues.  Ultimately, anything you do for him will be undermined if those issues are not addressed.  In my experience, that piece of the puzzle is the hardest to manage, as it affects almost everything else going on in their lives.

If your dad agrees to have support, sometimes the next hurdle is financial. You don't say where you live, but if it is in the US, there are many service available for elders and disabled people.  Here is a link to some info state by state:

https://www.payingforseniorcare.com/medicaid-waivers/assisted-living.html

Also if your dad is a veteran, there are many benefits offered by the veteran's administration.   They may be a good source of support and information.

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