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I'm so glad to have found this board. It's such a relief to realize I'm not alone.

My father is 71 and is the sole care-taker of my mother who is wheelchair bound after a freak accident caused her severe brain damage leaving her with a mental capacity not that different from that of my 5 year-old son's.

My father is, and has been, drinking since shortly after her accident.  He always enjoyed a good drink and had been known to be the "life of the party" from time to time....but it never rose to the level of "problem" status until after her accident.

He now starts drinking by late morning and drinks all day....straight sister and I figure he's drinking roughly 2 litres of the stuff every 3-4 days.  In the last 10 days he has fallen at home gashing his left eye so badly on the counter it swelled shut and then last night gashing the back of his head open so severely it required stitches.

The scary part is that he DROVE HIMSELF to the hospital ER drunk and now this morning, they won't release him to drive home as his blood alcohol level is STILL TO HIGH (If you can &*&ing believe that!)

He called my sister to drive down and pick him up from the hospital (she lives a mile away from him) but luckily she called me first and I, in no uncertain terms, told her there was NO WAY IN HELL I would go pick him up if it were me....there was no way I would enable those kind of choices on his part.  She took some convincing but stuck to her guns and called him back and told him to take a cab and was the recipient of the usual verbal tirade from him about how he "didn't need a *&^*ing lecture from her".

I am not particularly worried about him.  He is obviously not going to get any help until (unless) he decides to.....especially in his case as my father ironically enough has a PhD in counseling psychology......if he chooses to drink himself to death that's his (very sad) choice.

The issues I have are as follows and I welcome input/advice/ideas from this forum:

1. He is obviously not competent to take care of my mother any longer.  She is falling at home repeatedly and injuring herself.  She has bruises on her knees and hips from the repeated falls.  He is not bathing her on a regular basis and she literally smells.....How do I remove her from his care/get her better care?

2. He is a public safety risk at this point due to his drinking and driving.  I am literally concerned for the safety of others on the road and worried he will kill someone while drinking and driving.  Can I have his license taken away?  Can I report his driving to the hospital while legally drunk to the police and get him a DUI?

Any thoughts appreciated.
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My Mom has been alcoholic off and on. I have a lot of experience with ACOA and I love it, but you have to be spiritually-oriented or open to that.

Mom also has mental illness (OCD) and my parents divorced when I was 16. So I have every possible reason to need ACOA. Unfortunately, I no longer have time for meetings.

If you are the right kind of person, and have the time (not that any of us here have time), ACOA is great.
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Hi Chuchee,
Welcome to the board!

You and your sister really have a dilemma. I am sorry that you are facing this situation.
It sounds like your dad is not capable of caring for your mother and not even capable of caring for himself if he is going to drive drunk.  Is it possible that your dad would consider going to AA? You could confiscate the keys to the car, but it could result in battle!
If you are prepared to do it, you would probably need to make a call your county's social services and let them know what is going on in the house. They would come to the house themselves to see what the situation is and determine what needs to be done to protect your mom and help your dad.  They could tell you the best way to proceed legally. (I am only assuming that your dad is your mom's legal guardian since she is not capable of making decisions for herself.) Of course, then you and your sister will have to face some serious decisions on what to do for your mom and who will take care of her. Your mom is fortunate that she has you and your sister to look out for her welfare!

As for your dad's drunk driving issue, I would pay a visit to the local police department and let them know what is going on. I don't know that they can remove your dad's driver's license unless they actually stop him while he is drunk. Also, make sure you have a record of your dad's blood alcohol level to show them.
Have you and your sister talked about this issue at length and are your both prepared for the backlash from your dad? These are extreme measures to take, so please make sure that your both are on the same...exact page.
Contacting an Elder Care attorney might also be advisable!

My mother was an alcoholic/prescription drug addict and also mentally ill, so I really do understand and feel your pain!

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

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i agree with dkv's post.

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Hi everyone,

I am new to this board.  My mother passed away in 2006 from Leukemia but she also suffered from COPD and Cirrhosis.  She was an alcoholic for many many father is an alcoholic but since she's passed away he's gotten even worse.  He binge drinks.  He will drink solid for a few days, he drinks straight rum and then goes to bed.  He continues to do this for a few days then stops.  When he has stopped he complains of having the flu, when we all know that isn't the case.  He refuses to admit he has a problem.  I have 2 year old boy/girl twins and their birthday is coming up (Friday Nov 14), he promised to be sober for this event.  He has been sober since Sunday well I called today and he is back to the binge.  My father is well off financially and hasn't even bought them a gift yet.  When he drinks that is all he does....he doesn't even eat when he is binging.  He is the only grandparent  my kids have and they love him so much.  I am scared of losing him but I can't keep feeling stressed every time I have a family dinner or celebration in my home.  Please help me....
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Hi folks,
I really don't know how these things work,(chat rooms, message boards), I feel that I have been left behind by technology. There was a time I would have sworn that I would never own a computer, but of course (when I went to school we used punch cards for computers,) that was what 6 computers ago. Anyway, any helpful word from any one would help, tho I'm sure my perspective on this issue will help others cope/deal with theirs. Every ones situation is unique.
My parents are 85(dad) and 83(mom). I am an only son,(52) and grew up quite close (emotionally, I like them, usually) to my parents. I love them. I am married, 30 years, next April. They live close by, my choice, but not like across the street, it takes effort to come over.
They also drink....this has been going on for over twenty years, by which I mean destructively drink. Heck, they taught me to drink. At an early age. I had a liver transplant in 1993, guess from what?
I have been to their house 3 times today. They are both bombed, tho my mother who has now been drinking for at least 2 weeks, is trying to sober up because she knows that the ambulance and company will be coming soon.
My father is bloody and incoherent,they fall alot, tho is able to walk around the house and find his various hidden liquor stashes. When I was taking pictures for my records he actually started laughing at me. First coherent response all day. You know why? I can't do anything. I have been to the emergency room with him so many times its not funny, and you know what? Even tho he has both medicare and private supplemental, they don't want him anymore. Won't take him. Tried to call his doctor today, was basically told to go to hell by the nurse. And please don't say change doctors. Its the way thing are. I have seen over 500 in 10 years for myself, at some of the best hospitals in the country, yes there are a few that care, and even less that know what they are doing. If you have a good doctor be happy.
The really funny thing is that I have to be the sane one. I've died twice, literally, and come back for this.
Now when I mean bombed...I found and removed 2 half gallons of vodka from a hidden bookcase today. There have been days that I have taken away 12 bottles. If I take away their car, they walk naked around the neighborhood asking for liquor, I hope you get the picture. I have been left sobbing in a corner by my father as he demanded to know where his car his.
They have watched all of their friends, and relatives die, or slowly painfully die, the ones that have reached a ripe old age....
This has been going on for 20 years. They have strong constitutions. When I say they drink, I mean they drink, 4,5, 6, months at a time. That means non stop, little food. They get to the hospital, they go home. The system does not help, even if you have money.
So, does helping someone who is constantly crying wolf enable them? Even when they are in their 80's and crying in pain? I know the answer, I wonder if your site has it right too...
Oh, and you know, I have had so many people probe me in hospitals, that I really have a hard time going out in public anymore.  You see they hurt you in hospitals, quite a bit. Thus the appeal of an Internet connection. And please don't tell me I am crazy, I am, thats what keeps me sane.
Thanks, and bless you
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Farm Gal
Wow.  I don't know what to say, John D.  I'm sure I can't even begin to imagine what you go through.  Just thinking about it scares the devil out of me.  I am so sorry you have to deal with this.  It is incredibly sad that your parents treat themselves in such a way.  And incredible that it has been going on so long, and they have reached their 80's!  Like you said, they must have amazing constitutions. 
Certainly, I have no answers.  Plenty of sympathy.  You have a found a good place to share your pain and nobody here will ever tell you you're crazy!  I'm sure others will be along to make more helpful comments than I am capable of.  But I just wanted to welcome you to the board, and let you know we're listening, John D., and we care!
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Hi John. Sorry for the hell you have been through and going through now.
My mom's side of the family was completely devastated by alcoholism. My mother did pills and alcohol, switching to narcotics for the last 30 years, 50 total. She was a hard core addict until she passed away in April.
I have seen nightmarish things growing up, but nothing like you are experiencing right now. So sorry for you going through this horrible time.
I found that in the last 2 years of mom's life, her health was failing so she couldn't handle the narcotics and Xanax as well. Not only did it affect her worse, but she couldn't keep track of her pills, taking half the bottle in a week, rather than a month. She would hallucinate, alarm the neighbors, and go to ER.
Usually people tell you to go to AL-Anon for these things and I know that they help, but the last year of her life, I was in a battle for my survival dealing with her deterioration and plunge into addiction. I turned to this board and got some steel in my resolve and advice to carry me through to the end in April. I needed something more and this group gave it to me. I also prayed and prayed like there was no tomorrow. Despite the horror, mom ended well and for that,  I thank the Lord. If you are a Christian, start using that power now

One reason that I am telling this is because with your parents age, it may be that they are not dealing with the alcohol as well as years past. I assume they weren't running around naked drunk in younger days, or am I wrong?
My mom couldn't physically handle what she used to so it got really chaotic and something akin to madness. I called her doctor several times, but he still prescribed strong doses of narcotics, especially when she started dialysis in that last year. It was terrible because I couldn't win, but I was the one slave to it all. In serious cases like these---this may be a bad thing to say---but death is not so scary. I know that nothing else can happen to my mom and she is now free of the addictions. Rather than sorrow, I fell great relief. It will always be this scary for you. Stay strong.

Your case must be one of the most severe that I have ever read about and I can't give you a good forecast on their future. They are too far gone and chances are they won't change anything. If they could even cut back enough to not be dangerous---that would be an improvement. But the disease has them in full grip and it is beyond their/your control.

Dealing with my mom for the last two years made me realize that there is really nothing out there for children of elderly alcoholics/addicts to help them  deal with out of control parents. I feel for you and will keep you in my prayers from now on.

I am not sure what you can do for them. You will have to detach somehow and concentrate on keeping yourself healthy. I like how you mentioned growing up emotionally close to them and you like them.
Pray for them and love them. Don't enable them to drink. They will endure the consequences. Possessed by addiction, there is not much we can do.

I'll end with the best thing that I ever heard in an Al Anon meeting...
At night, rather than worry, try to imagine wrapping them in a beautiful, warm, cozy blanket. Kiss them goodnight and give them to the Lord for safekeeping. Let go and let God take care of them. You can't deal with this. It is way bigger than anyone.

I understand.


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a typo---it will not always be this scary for you.

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What a relief it is to have found a forum like this! So supporting and so nice to find a place where others can understand. Yet so many heartaches and extremely difficult experiences and situations. My mother has been an alcoholic for 20 years, since I was a teenager, and is now a pensioner on her own living in a large house in an isolated community. After years of anghst and trying, I no longer speak to her. I cannot cope with her abuse and the personality she becomes when she drinks. she can be lovely when sober but she can binge drink happily for days, and there have been weekends i have visited her in the past, where she has never been sober. The issue I have is expecations from family members , I have one brother, who has emmigrated, and one sister that lives 70 miles from me but who can't cope with any type of problem. I know it will be me who will be expected to pick up the pieces when things go wrong e.g mother falls when drunk, sets house on fire (nearly happened) etc, but mentally, physically, emotionally and financially I just cannot do it! Any advice on how to cope with pressures from siblings (and actually some friends who say ' well as long as you are there when she really needs you') when it comes to this type of situation?  I have no children of my own, so expectations are higher still as i have no other dependents.

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There are several things that come to mind as responses.
a. What do you plan to do to help or are you just going to watch?
b. I am practicing 'detachment' that AL-Anon teaches us to save ourselves when alcoholics continue their drinking.
c. I am not a fan of self destruction.
d. Recite for them the Serenity Prayer and scream the part about "the serenity to accept the things that you can't change"
e. ask them..."Did you grow up with an alcoholic?"

Sibs shouldn't put pressure on you. I tried not to pressure my brother or siste to help me because they just couldn't tolerate it either.
This is a super web page for adult kids of alcoholics...
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Only Child
I am so glad I found this thread .. yet so feeling guilty..
 Both my parents are alcaholics, my entire family is. I am.  I basically took on the parent role when I was 12, in school, taking care of my horse, and my parents. My father had come home from the Navy and it was the first time he'd had to interract with me. I remember cooking and taking care of my pony, and school.

 I  am an alcaholic.  I am 33 years old. I have been one for at least 23 years.

 I left home at 18 and left the continent in an effort to get away. I still have nightmares about escaping that house...
 My parents are in their 60's and both  still abusing alcahol.  They are making themselves sick, and drinking to the point of being unconscious.

 My entire family expects me to leave this country and just move back in with my parents to take care of them.

 I am not looking for "feel good" messages, because I'm not going back to that situation- they both will not even acknowledge they have a problem.

 I would like to know if there's any intervention out there, because they won't listen to me...

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Are you asking about intervention for your parents?
Not to be depressing, but my mom died an addict...she just couldn't get free from it in this life. A month before she passed, she spent a week on a psych ward for elderly people, but it didn't help with her addiction. Just got her on an appropriate level of meds before she went to AL. I just accepted that the situaton would not improve in this world and knew that I couldn't do much about it.

Do you have family members---even distant ones---in their country.
If they have brothers or sisters, or other children, then the problem should fall on them. If I were you, I would not even think about leaving my country to step back into that situation. Let whatever is going to happen will anyway with alcoholics and addicts at the end stage of life. Sorry that I am so cynical, but I have never seen cases of recovery later in life, although they must exist?

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Only Child,

I know of people who were alcoholics for many years and took the path of recovery.  Some have been sober for many, many years.  Your parents are in their 60's. If you do an internet search on elderly alcoholism (and I do not even consider 60 elderly) there will be information and some resources, i.e. numbers to call.  I think you are asking about an intervention, where people who care about the people gather together and talk about how concerned they are, and guide them to treatment. Am I correct?   This is something that would require the support of your family, and probably some major changes in their attitudes and thinking.  I do not get the feeling there is a lot of family support.

As far as your situation, it would make absolutely no sense to leave your life and attempt to take care of them.  Since you say you are an alcoholic yourself, then the chances are that you would be dragged down to their level after awhile.

I can certainly appreciate your concern to help them.  I would definitely do an internet search and talk to some people, preferably in the area where they life, but this all sounds like something that is going to be very difficult to do without the support of other family members.  And, finally, if you are an active alcoholic, I would think the first order of business would be to get yourself in a program of recovery. 
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Only Child
Thank you for your replies..

 Yes I do have family members within about 10 hours of them. And all have tried intervention, including neighbors and even the police. Everyone has given up because when intervention is attempted it results in tantrums, screaming and voilence.

 Yes.. I am an alcaholic, I understand my disease and that it runs in my family. I have been through rehab (lasted for a while) and thankfully now I have God in my life which makes me stronger. I cannot drink and cannot be around it.

I want to help them, they're my parents.  They don't seem to want help. They want me to move in with them badly, but I won't. My mother wants grandkids so badly (that I will not do, this runs in my family) and openly tells me how much her god-daughter means to her and how I disappoint.

They are both so destructive to anyone around them. Neighbors have been called, police have been called, and neither of them will even acknowledge there is a problem. They don't get it.

Everyone in my family has kinda given up on them and is mad at me because I'm not there first hand.

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