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Thread: Caring for elderly parents; alcoholism, Alzheimer's and age. Where to go for advice?

  1. #1

    Caring for elderly parents; alcoholism, Alzheimer's and age. Where to go for advice?

    I'm hoping to call on the collective experience of the forum here, as I'm at my wits-end. Some sensitive subjects below, so I apologise in advance.

    My mother had a stroke 8 years ago and is bed-ridden and immobile. We have private care in place 9-5 and my father tends to personal care in the evenings and overnight. My father has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and is starting to show cognitive degradation (short-term memory loss) - he is also an alcoholic. He fell around 2 years ago (related to alcoholic blackouts), damaging his spine, which has limited his movements quite a bit.

    We generally have a 'best endeavours' approach with my father. He's been told he can't drink anymore, but he refuses to stop. We've managed to regulate it, since his fall, by giving him a bottle of 8% wine with his evening meal every night. This has been working well for 18 months.

    Unfortunately my mother's health has declined and she's in hospital currently. Since she's been in there, we've been taking my father to see her everyday and that has enabled him to move around much more than he has done previously. He's now realised he's well enough to walk to the pub - something we've been avoiding as best as we can. So, everyday for the last 7 days, he's made his way to the pub, drank himself into a stupor and wakes up the next day with no recollection - still dressed. No amount of talking to him seems to make an impact. He's not eating any food prepared for him and seems only interested in his next drink.

    We have power of attorney and manage all their finances, care, travel, medical appointments etc.

    What, realistically, can I do? I've considered restricting his access to money, but this seems heavy-handed. He's drinking himself to death and I don't know how to help.

    Are there any services I can connect with, has anyone had anything similar they've managed through?

  2. #2
    Master John Wall's Avatar
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    Rick, my absolute sympathy and respect for your position and for sharingÖ

    I canít offer any personal advice, but presume youíve spoken to Dadís GP ?

  3. #3
    Thanks John. GP has recommended alcohol recovery services, but unfortunately my father won't accept he has an issue and doesn't want any help. It's part of the issue, he simply doesn't think there is a problem.

  4. #4
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    Itís tricky, lots of separate areas that all inter link.
    It sounds like your dad is enjoying the freedoms created by your mums absence in hospital.
    Iíve known a few people use the Go Henry cards with alcohol or drug dependant family members, only adding small amounts daily on to the card and setting restrictions on where the card can be used.

  5. #5
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    Horrendous, mid afternoon the sundowners kicked in for father in law & he was off home, even though he was at home!!

    No amount of conversation would prevent him putting coat & shoes on & going out. Luckily small village & we would get random calls to collect him. Unable to remember way home!

    After four years of keeping him at home he had to go into a home as he was a danger to himself, late 80ís

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    Sorry to hear of the situation you find yourself in. If your Dad refuses to stop drinking and is not eating correctly he may be in danger of wernicke's encephalopathy, which then leads on to Korsakoff Syndrome. It is caused by a thiamine deficiency, get your Dad to take a supplement if you can which may prevent an episode of wernicke's. My Dad suffered this over a decade ago, he had over 2 years in rehab and is now living at home independently with care provision. Unfortunately he now has vasular dementia (alcohol related) and he has really gone down hill in the last 2 years. He hasn't been using alcohol since his wernicke's. Speak to a doctor about preventing wernicke's/korsakoff

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Master geordie's Avatar
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    May be worth a chat with the landlord in the local to prevent him being served excessively until he's in a state - have him cut off after 3 pints or similar. Or get him barred if he refuses to cooperate.

  8. #8
    Respect for posting. You havenít mentioned how old your parents are, roughly?

  9. #9
    I'll look into Thiamine, and wernike's - neither I've heard of. We give him his medication twice a day, so adding in a supplement will go un-noticed.

    I've chatted with the landlady of the pub - she said she'd try and encourage him not to have more than 1-2 drinks and pour singles if he asks for doubles.

    Age-wise, my mother is mid-80's and father mid 70's.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RickChard View Post
    I'm hoping to call on the collective experience of the forum here, as I'm at my wits-end. Some sensitive subjects below, so I apologise in advance.

    My mother had a stroke 8 years ago and is bed-ridden and immobile. We have private care in place 9-5 and my father tends to personal care in the evenings and overnight. My father has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and is starting to show cognitive degradation (short-term memory loss) - he is also an alcoholic. He fell around 2 years ago (related to alcoholic blackouts), damaging his spine, which has limited his movements quite a bit.

    We generally have a 'best endeavours' approach with my father. He's been told he can't drink anymore, but he refuses to stop. We've managed to regulate it, since his fall, by giving him a bottle of 8% wine with his evening meal every night. This has been working well for 18 months.

    Unfortunately my mother's health has declined and she's in hospital currently. Since she's been in there, we've been taking my father to see her everyday and that has enabled him to move around much more than he has done previously. He's now realised he's well enough to walk to the pub - something we've been avoiding as best as we can. So, everyday for the last 7 days, he's made his way to the pub, drank himself into a stupor and wakes up the next day with no recollection - still dressed. No amount of talking to him seems to make an impact. He's not eating any food prepared for him and seems only interested in his next drink.

    We have power of attorney and manage all their finances, care, travel, medical appointments etc.

    What, realistically, can I do? I've considered restricting his access to money, but this seems heavy-handed. He's drinking himself to death and I don't know how to help.

    Are there any services I can connect with, has anyone had anything similar they've managed through?
    Try https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ might be able to advise as the support isn't just for the person that is ill.

    You say you have private care, would additional support for either or both help- have they been assessed for NHS support (Via Local Authority) https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information...ting%20dressed.

    Also https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/in...-care-at-home/ might be able to help

    Support for families of alcoholics also https://www.the-alcoholism-guide.org...lcoholics.html

    You may need to consider care homes for safety for one or both, might not feel palatable at the moment but worth looking into now what is available locally before further deterioration makes it an emergency.

    Some might not be able to help directly but certainly good resources of advise

    Best of luck

  11. #11
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    First of all - sorry for your plight, it is a very difficult situation that you are dealing with.

    With my mother's death a few days ago, I'm just coming out of the other side of a decade of dealing with her lifelong mental-issues, plus increasing dementia, coupled with intense stubbornness.

    In the end, the only definitive lesson for me personally has been acceptance.

    We did what we could to try to help and protect her, and the various professionals did likewise, but until she could be compelled to go into full-time care, there was little that could be done to ensure a grown adult did what she should, rather than whatever random, halfwitted, harmful thing she wanted!

    In the last few years, I came to terms with much of it being her choice as an elderly person approaching the end of her life. If what she did made her happier at the cost of shortened life-expectancy, well that was her choice, and I had to accept it. In any case, fighting it was futile.

    For some people this will sound like a neglect of duty, a raising of a white flag, and that's fine, judge-away. Though she always insisted she wanted to see out her days in her own home, going into full-time care was unquestionably good for her (she finally relaxed and stopped fighting), and (selfishly) it was certainly good for us.

    Good luck with your parental situation - I hope you can find solutions that work for all of you.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    First of all - sorry for your plight, it is a very difficult situation that you are dealing with.

    With my mother's death a few days ago, I'm just coming out of the other side of a decade of dealing with her lifelong mental-issues, plus increasing dementia, coupled with intense stubbornness.

    In the end, the only definitive lesson for me personally has been acceptance.

    We did what we could to try to help and protect her, and the various professionals did likewise, but until she could be compelled to go into full-time care, there was little that could be done to ensure a grown adult did what she should, rather than whatever random, halfwitted, harmful thing she wanted!

    In the last few years, I came to terms with much of it being her choice as an elderly person approaching the end of her life. If what she did made her happier at the cost of shortened life-expectancy, well that was her choice, and I had to accept it. In any case, fighting it was futile.

    For some people this will sound like a neglect of duty, a raising of a white flag, and that's fine, judge-away. Though she always insisted she wanted to see out her days in her own home, going into full-time care was unquestionably good for her (she finally relaxed and stopped fighting), and (selfishly) it was certainly good for us.

    Good luck with your parental situation - I hope you can find solutions that work for all of you.

    I'm sorry for your loss.

    What you've said resonates with me, part of me wants to let him just enjoy his days - even if it does shorten his life-expectancy.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Pox View Post
    Try https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ might be able to advise as the support isn't just for the person that is ill.

    You say you have private care, would additional support for either or both help- have they been assessed for NHS support (Via Local Authority) https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information...ting%20dressed.

    Also https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/in...-care-at-home/ might be able to help

    Support for families of alcoholics also https://www.the-alcoholism-guide.org...lcoholics.html

    You may need to consider care homes for safety for one or both, might not feel palatable at the moment but worth looking into now what is available locally before further deterioration makes it an emergency.

    Some might not be able to help directly but certainly good resources of advise

    Best of luck

    Thank you, I'll take some time this evening looking through those resources.

  14. #14
    ^(EoS)..there’s a lot of wisdom right there. Both my parents suffered from dementia towards the end of their days. Don’t necessarily expect an older, frailer person from the one you remember growing up. You may well, and indeed seem to be, getting someone different.

  15. #15
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    earlofsodsbury: That wasnít a case of you raising the white flag. No, it was an entirely sensible and pragmatic response to the most challenging of situations. Sorry for your loss.

  16. #16
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    Sorry to hear your dilemma.

    I can’t advise on the addiction but some good advise above.

    With your mother I’d contact social services and say they must produce a care plan for her before she is discharged. Make it clear that there is not a sustainable care plan in place given your fathers challenges.

    Many families are coping where social services should provide support.

    Seems you have been doing a lot but this seems a watershed moment.

    Likely your mum needs residential care if your dad can’t control his addiction.
    Last edited by Montello; 13th June 2022 at 19:16.

  17. #17
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickChard View Post
    part of me wants to let him just enjoy his days - even if it does shorten his life-expectancy.
    I was thinking that.

    It begs the question of why he's drinking. :-(

  18. #18
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickChard View Post
    I'm sorry for your loss.

    What you've said resonates with me, part of me wants to let him just enjoy his days - even if it does shorten his life-expectancy.

    Thank-you. (Thank-you, all of you, for your comments.)

    It's an understandable and reasonable response to simply let your dad enjoy himself as he wishes. Western society is obsessed with quantity of life over quality (though vast lip-service is paid to the latter!), my opinion, FWIW, is that quality of life is by far the most important.

    There's no rhyme-or-reason to alcoholism IME - contemporary society loves to portray addicts as 'victims', but the truth is some people drink to numb themselves, others for the simple joy of inebriation, some it's little more than habit, others its a multiplicity of overlapping causes. No matter what reasons underlie your dad's tippling, at 70+ it's too late to change very much, it's just something you have to accept.

    Practically, there's not much to add to what's been better-said by others: limit his 'pocket money', speak with the pub so they understand the situation, maybe ask they only sell him beer rather than wines and spirits, perhaps find out if he has a more 'with-it' drinking buddy or near-neighbour who can see him home, and look-in to getting full-time care sorted, painfully-expensive as it is.

    Comprehensional difficulties notwithstanding, whatever course you take, try to explain it to him - even if he's not always fully lucid, it's often surprising what seeps through to the subconscious mechanisms of the mind, albeit it can take a few goes!

    There's no manual for Coping, to me it's not remotely a black-&-white / right-or-wrong situation - you simply do the best You can. In reality, no-one's in charge: more-like there's 10 different wannabe-drivers squabbling for control of a runaway pantechnicon... Afterwards, when all has run its course, accept it for what it is and set-aside any temptations for guilt (the most futile and self-indulgent of all the emotions).

    Very best of luck to all of you.

  19. #19
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    IME unlikely the hospital will discharge your mother unless social services are involved and adequate care arranged ... either at home or in temporary or permanent residential care. Be guided by social services ... any care will involve professional assessment. I was responsible for a very stubborn aunt's privately funded care for 14 years ... social services were involved ref assessments. After my aunt's condition deteriorated (further strokes) she stubbornly refused to accept private residential care by which time her 'own home' private care agency was insisting on her having TWO 24/7 carers. I had to be ruthless and insist that she accepted private residential care ... because two full time carers in her own home was not an £option. A different situation to that of your mother but eventually persuaded my aunt that private residential care was the only answer. She was tearful for two weeks after she moved into the residential care home ... but thereafter settled in fine ... whence I was able to visit daily on my way home from work. My aunt's own home was in N London ... I moved her into a Peterborough residential care home ... after visiting all the local care homes and choosing the best. Might be possible for your father to also move into any residential care home selected for your mother. My aunt's residential care home catered for couples including those where one was not disabled ... separate rooms were offered. If your father agreed to have residential care in same care home as your mother, their house could be let and rent used to subsidise residential home care costs. When in residential home care, most residents qualify for a 'non-means tested' personal needs care allowance covering e.g. essential toileting / bathing /dressing / feeding ... but all subject to assessment. The £allowance paid by the local authority helps offset care home fees. Care homes arrange the assessments for their residents.

    The danger / risk relating to your father is that his memory loss could eventually result in him getting lost on his way home from the pub ... risking an accident to himself and other road users. Sounds as if he requires constant supervision ... which would be available in a residential nursing home ... if he could be persuaded to agree to same. If my father had been in a similar situation and I had the £funds to help him, I'd insist he moved into a residential nursing home ... where qualified staff are experienced in the care and management of residents with both memory and alcohol problems. Some nursing homes provide 'secure wings' where residents cannot 'go walkies' / 'AWOL'. A residential nursing home would not expect a resident with alcohol problems to be teetotal ... they'd likely allow supervised alcohol consumption ... e.g. a glass before bedtime ... and they help residents eat a healthy diet.

    I hope you and your family can find and agree a satisfactory way forward and that you will soon have fewer worries / concerns.

    dunk
    Last edited by sundial; 15th June 2022 at 09:16.
    "After a certain age you got the face you deserve I think" ... Henri Cartier-Bresson

  20. #20
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    Sorry to read this
    As has been said contact social services- when my mum was diagnosed with lewy bodies dementia my dad and I cared for her for quite a while but it became too much for us when she was confined to bed
    We had a good team who visited twice a day and had a bed in the lounge - she passed a couple of years ago at home closely followed by my old dad
    Early 70ís
    Seek some help if you can

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    IME unlikely the hospital will discharge your mother unless social services are involved and adequate care arranged ... either at home or in temporary or permanent residential care. Be guided by social services ... any care will involve professional assessment.
    This is what should happen but social services as stretched to the limits and beyond and the hospital, who will be desperate for the bed, will happily discharge to the care of the family if the family are willing to accept their loved one.

    In the OPs position I would not accept the discharge until a care plan has been done by social services. Itís much easier to get this done whilst your relative is blocking a hospital bed.

    If your relative is discharged to your care you will be waiting a long time for the intervention of social service.

    With regards funding FNC (Funded Nursing Care) is pretty easy to qualify for and is about £150/week. CHC (continuing health care) is very difficult to access unless there is a very obvious primary health care need. We have spent 3 years and numerous appeals to get CHC for my FiL who is in a dreadful state with advanced Parkinsonís. Itís a tough situation.

  22. #22
    Grand Master Passenger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    This is what should happen but social services as stretched to the limits and beyond and the hospital, who will be desperate for the bed, will happily discharge to the care of the family if the family are willing to accept their loved one.

    In the OPs position I would not accept the discharge until a care plan has been done by social services. It’s much easier to get this done whilst your relative is blocking a hospital bed.

    If your relative is discharged to your care you will be waiting a long time for the intervention of social service.

    With regards funding FNC (Funded Nursing Care) is pretty easy to qualify for and is about £150/week. CHC (continuing health care) is very difficult to access unless there is a very obvious primary health care need. We have spent 3 years and numerous appeals to get CHC for my FiL who is in a dreadful state with advanced Parkinson’s. It’s a tough situation.
    Yes seems very variable...my uncle 85, bedbound, tubes galore and confirmed to be on his last legs was sent home to the care of my 82 year old aunt, herself with mobility issues, no care experience...later on the day of his return she had to be taken to hospital herself because her ticker went crazy, stress of the situation obviously...my Dad who lives next door quipped, 'ambulance only took hour an half, that's good for round here''...Another aunt who'd fortunately been a carer raced over to keep an eye on uncle that night and with help from other family rang around and eventually got some carers in a couple of days later...auntie eventually sent home 5 days later...It's surely not meant to be like this is it...mind you given the fateful decision to jettison untested patients into the care homes, risking the most vulnerable environment, patients within the care ecosystem, I guess it's a case of be grateful for what you're lucky enough to get and take it on the chin.
    Last edited by Passenger; 15th June 2022 at 09:43.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Yes seems very variable...my uncle 85, bedbound, tubes galore and confirmed to be on his last legs was sent home to the care of my 82 year old aunt, herself with mobility issues, no care experience...later on the day of his return she had to be taken to hospital herself because her ticker went crazy, stress of the situation obviously...my Dad who lives next door quipped, 'ambulance only took hour an half, that's good for round here''...Another aunt who'd fortunately been a carer raced over to keep an eye on uncle that night and with help from other family rang around and eventually got some carers in a couple of days later...auntie eventually sent home 5 days later...It's surely not meant to be like this is it...mind you given the fateful decision to jettison untested patients into the care homes, risking the most vulnerable environment, patients within the care ecosystem, I guess it's a case of be grateful for what you're lucky enough to get and take it on the chin.
    Yes sadly that is the reality we face. Just been in to the GP with both my elderly parents, my father for his injection which they changed the date on without advising us, earlier in the week and mother for some other stuff.

    Nurse we were being seen by this morning was one who has been at the practice for 31 years and I thought it apt to vent at her for happened earlier in the week. She basically admitted the whole system is broken and the 'nurse' who couldn't do the injection earlier in the week was in fact not a nurse and just a healthcare assistance. Listening to her complaining about how broke the system is was quite depressing, what a sad state our country is in, truly despairing.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Yes seems very variable...my uncle 85, bedbound, tubes galore and confirmed to be on his last legs was sent home to the care of my 82 year old aunt, herself with mobility issues, no care experience...later on the day of his return she had to be taken to hospital herself because her ticker went crazy, stress of the situation obviously...my Dad who lives next door quipped, 'ambulance only took hour an half, that's good for round here''...Another aunt who'd fortunately been a carer raced over to keep an eye on uncle that night and with help from other family rang around and eventually got some carers in a couple of days later...auntie eventually sent home 5 days later...It's surely not meant to be like this is it...mind you given the fateful decision to jettison untested patients into the care homes, risking the most vulnerable environment, patients within the care ecosystem, I guess it's a case of be grateful for what you're lucky enough to get and take it on the chin.

    The system will default to allowing the families to cope and provide care until a crisis occurs usually resulting in a hospital admission and then the cycle repeats.

    Eventually the cycle will get broken when the family can no longer cope and an intervention by social services will be required.

    It is a difficult situation and we have been dealing with it for about 20 years with sick parents; if the situation is a critical medical condition then the NHS is usually pretty good. If it is a more longer term situation that will likely get classified as a social care need then you are pretty much on your own unless you are broke at which point the state will provide a safety net.

    The solution will depend on resources; we struggled to support parents at home with the additional provision of home care as it was their wish to remain at home. This resulted in applying more and more home care until we got to a point where the care providers were no longer able to provide adequate care in the home and we then we placed my FiL in a care home. This was a difficult decision for us and my wife felt pretty guilty about it even though she'd been dad's care manager for years giving up her business to do so ... but now he's been there 3 years it was clearly the best decision and now he is getting better care and is more content. It's still challenging and still takes time to manage but if it is the right call it has to be made. The care home is about £1600 / week.
    Last edited by Montello; 15th June 2022 at 13:29. Reason: Typo

  25. #25
    Grand Master Passenger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    The system will default to allowing the families to copy and provide care until a crisis occurs usually resulting in a hospital admission and then the cycle repeats.

    Eventually the cycle will get broken when the family can no longer copy and an intervention by social services will be required.

    It is a difficult situation and we have been dealing with it for about 20 years with sick parents; if the situation is a critical medical condition then the NHS is usually pretty good. If it is a more longer term situation that will likely get classified as a social care need then you are pretty much on your own unless you are broke at which point the state will provide a safety net.

    The solution will depend on resources; we struggled to support parents at home with the additional provision of home care as it was their wish to remain at home. This resulted in applying more and more home care until we got to a point where the care providers were no longer able to provide adequate care in the home and we then we placed my FiL in a care home. This was a difficult decision for us and my wife felt pretty guilty about it even though she'd been dad's care manager for years giving up her business to do so ... but now he's been there 3 years it was clearly the best decision and now he is getting better care and is more content. It's still challenging and still takes time to manage but if it is the right call it has to be made. The care home is about £1600 / week.
    Thanks for sharing your experience and insight.
    Last edited by Passenger; 15th June 2022 at 13:16.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Thanks for sharing your experience and insight.
    For care in the home we used a number of agencies but in the end the best provider was Age UK https://www.ageuk.org.uk/ there were some incredible carers on their staff.

    When it came to the selection of care homes that was very difficult; there is a range of options from independent locals to nationals chains. We found that most residential care homes are geared up to serve patients with Alzheimers or residential care for frail people.

    Not many care homes provide nursing care i.e. they have qualified nurses on their staff and in attendance 24/7, which dad needed. If your loved one has critical nursing needs then you will find your residential care options will be a lot more limited.

    In the end we went with a home managed by Care UK https://www.careuk.com/ we did that because they have a corporate HQ which will provide better compliance and processes and the building was new with purpose built rooms which are bigger and have an en-suit wet room. They are far from perfect and take a lot of managing but dad is well looked after and is more content than his final months in his own home. It was one of the hardest decisions we have ever made and part of us felt we were failing him as he moved into the home but now I reflect on it we probably should have done it 6 months sooner than we did as there were numerous hospital admissions and difficult situations in his final months at home.

    Good luck to anyone facing the challenge of supporting parents as detailed by the OP ... it is a challenge that comes out of the blue and one which there is no preparation for or guide book ...

  27. #27
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Regarding residential nursing home care: Please do not leave any valuables in the resident's room, e.g. jewellery, money, mobile phones, watches, torches, fountain pens etc ... The room will be accessed by care home cleaners, nurses, care assistants (including night care assistants) ... and also other residents and their visitors / families ... none of whom should be assumed to be 'honest', and 'some' of whom will inevitably be "wot! not me guv!!" 'opportunist thieves'. Thefts in nursing homes are regular occurrences and a residential home's management does not have the time or inclination to investigate ... and will refer their resident's family to the home's terms and conditions which might state,"No responsibility can be taken by ABC Residential Home for loss of residents' personal possessions ... ". Residents' dentures and spectacles should be clearly and indelibly marked with their name. Residents should not be permitted to wear e.g. gold rings / earrings / pendants / necklaces ... over time they will inevitably 'disappear'. Residential homes often have to employ 'here today, gone by next week' agency staff ... who can be more 'opportunist' than regular staff.

    Security precautions should also be taken regarding care agency staff working in a resident's / patient's own home ... IME care agency staff can be very disingenuous and opportunist ... and can 'weigh up' their 'new assignment "vulnerable resident" ' in a very short space of time ... with a view to exploiting them with their well used 'hard luck' stories ... which might include such untruths as, " .... just had my wallet stolen with my credit cards and i need to send my mum some birthday flowers ... can you help me?" An elderly, vulnerable, infirm resident might answer, "Of course I can dear ..." . I could write a book about such occurrences.

    Residential homes / nursing homes will inevitably include residents coping / suffering with MRSA ... 'superbug infections' resistant to antibiotics. Those residents need care but also need careful management to prevent them mixing too closely with other residents. Families should always enquire regarding a residential home's policy ref MRSA management ... and ensure that their loved one is not allocated a room adjacent to a resident with MRSA.

    The above facts might be 'off-putting' to any family considering arranging residential care, or an own home 'on rota', "live-in agency carer" for a loved one ... but families need to be aware of the risks ... risks which can be managed, reduced, and often eliminated, by using / applying common sense precautions. Forewarned is forearmed.
    Last edited by sundial; 15th June 2022 at 15:26.
    "After a certain age you got the face you deserve I think" ... Henri Cartier-Bresson

  28. #28
    Craftsman leo1790's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this and I hope it gets sorted.

    Our close neighbours ended up on a similar path a few years ago. The old boy was a raging but friendly and functional alcoholic, he had early onset of dementia and basically drank himself to death in the space of 12 months. His wife also had early signs of dementia while she was trying to care for him and following his death she also turned to the drink.
    The family weren't the most helpful bunch and almost expected local neighbours to look after her. We did as much as we could but put our foot down when she'd try to slip one of us £20 in the morning to get her a bottle of vodka.
    After discussions with the son and daughter we agreed to getting the occasional bottle of wine for her but at the end of the week, we'd see the bottle bin full of all manner of empty bottles.

    Fortunately, a friend of a friend in the village is a community carer and she got the ball rolling with getting extra help for her, but more importantly, getting her family involved.
    They got her on a care program to cut down the drink and also to ensure she was eating healthy meals etc.
    Anyway, she's completely cut out the drink now and looks a bill of health. She walks up and down the road every hour to take in the fresh air and get some exercise.
    This, I believe, could only have happened with the support of her family and although they were slow off the mark they have realised that they need to look after their mum.
    I think she was quite open to receiving help but I realise not everybody is, if someone doesn't want the help then obviously makes it much more difficult.

    She's late 70's and looks healthier and happier now than she did 10 years ago.

    I wish you all the best.

  29. #29
    Master
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    I know (personally) this is a serious subject but reading through it just reminded me that my mum would regularly leave me some cash hidden in my bedroom while I was at work ( Iíd moved home and helping dad with her care) -1 was 51 at the time - she said pocket money 😂😂

  30. #30
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickChard View Post
    I'm hoping to call on the collective experience of the forum here, as I'm at my wits-end. Some sensitive subjects below, so I apologise in advance.

    My mother had a stroke 8 years ago and is bed-ridden and immobile. ... ... we've been taking my father to see her everyday and that has enabled him to move around much more than he has done previously. He's now realised he's well enough to walk to the pub - something we've been avoiding as best as we can. So, everyday for the last 7 days, he's made his way to the pub, drank himself into a stupor and wakes up the next day with no recollection - still dressed. No amount of talking to him seems to make an impact. He's not eating any food prepared for him and seems only interested in his next drink.

    We have power of attorney and manage all their finances, care, travel, medical appointments etc.

    What, realistically, can I do? I've considered restricting his access to money, but this seems heavy-handed. He's drinking himself to death and I don't know how to help.

    Are there any services I can connect with, has anyone had anything similar they've managed through?
    Try contacting your local Alcoholics Anonymous to enquire if they can offer advice ref your father's alcohol relapse ... and do not assume AA cannot offer advice ... they've likely dealt with similar situations ... AA helps the families of alcoholics in addition to the alcoholics. AA was once very helpful to me ref an alcoholic GF ... I was allowed to attend the 'open' AA meetings with my GF where relatives / friends were welcome ... but I was not permitted to attend the AA 'closed meetings'. AA might be able to offer your father counselling ... and he's more likely to attend an 'open' AA meeting if accompanied by you or a family member.

    And: Ref "GP has recommended alcohol recovery services, but unfortunately my father won't accept he has an issue and doesn't want any help. It's part of the issue, he simply doesn't think there is a problem." ... that's a typical response ... most people with an alcohol problem do not want to admit they have a problem ... Alcoholics Anonymous is very used to hearing this response and can likely advise on best course of action. You'd very likely benefit from a chat with an AA advisor who's heard all excuses voiced by alcoholics. I've had two alcoholic GFs .. they never easily admitted to their problem ... one died from alcohol related total organ failure ... one still attends AA meetings. Another friend also died from alcohol related organ failure which could likely have been prevented had he quit the booze ... it's a terrible way to die. He went 'downhill' following the death of his wife who'd previously helped him reduce his intake. Alcoholics need a lot of support; they seldom admit to their problems and predicaments and think they can manage by themselves ... but they cannot manage by themselves ... by themselves the booze always wins ... bringing heartache to their family and friends.
    Last edited by sundial; 16th June 2022 at 09:14.
    "After a certain age you got the face you deserve I think" ... Henri Cartier-Bresson

  31. #31
    Thanks all, I'm continuing to digest posts and recommendations. We have a good local rehabilitation centre, I'm going to pop and see them today, see if there's any support for us or my father.

    Situation has not improved, arguably it's worse.

    My mother has been discharged and is home, but if I'm honest doesn't seem well enough to be home - I suspect they've sent her home to be 'comfortable', to me this suggests we're near the end.

    I'd hoped that would have stopped my father going to the pub, having her home - sadly not. Comically he had an appointment regarding his dementia, scored 76 on his ACE III test, told them he wasn't going to the pub or drinking at all (which my wife corrected him on). He then came home has some dinner (forgetting to feed his wife) and then headed off up the road to the pub - I intercepted him and it ended in an argument. I've now taken his cards and any cash out of the house. If he'd have gotten to the pub, he wouldn't have been able to care for my mother - in fact he didn't even take a phone with him, in case she needed him.

    Chatted to him today, no recollection of our altercation or even going to see the Doctor.

  32. #32
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Has any nursing / personal needs care been arranged for your mother at home? Your father's situation suggests additional carers are required. Too risky to leave him looking after your mother without additional help / assistance.
    "After a certain age you got the face you deserve I think" ... Henri Cartier-Bresson

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    Has any nursing / personal needs care been arranged for your mother at home? Your father's situation suggests additional carers are required. Too risky to leave him looking after your mother without additional help / assistance.

    We have a care package for my mother, arranged by the hospital - this is only in place for a month (because it is means tested). Our private care is only office hours. I'm looking at options today for extended coverage for private care, or potentially live-in care.

  34. #34
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Hide valuables if new carers arriving ... Good luck
    "After a certain age you got the face you deserve I think" ... Henri Cartier-Bresson

  35. #35
    Journeyman DONGinsler's Avatar
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    Didn't read all the posts, so don't know if mentioned, but visit the bars and ask them not to serve him (include a picture so they know who it is .

    Point out his Alzheimer's and mention that if anything were to happen to him by them serving him alcohol. They could be responsible due to them serving him after they've been warned.

    Nobody likes a lawsuit. Especially one that could put them out of business

    DON

  36. #36
    Master
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    As above
    Speak to the landlord, he might be willing to limit the amount of alcohol he sells him.

    I think landlords will have some sort responsibility for their customers
    And if heís mad aware of your fathers medical condition they have to act.

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