Urgent Advice Needed

Old 06-24-2016, 01:57 AM
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Urgent Advice Needed

My mother, 78, alcoholic has what I call, hit the bottom.

She lives alone. Three days ago she fell over, drunk and broke her shoulder in three places and her wrist.

She was so drunk, she didn't call an ambulance until 6 hours later, she also called my sister at that time.

She had also lost control of her bowels, sometime after this happened.

So, she is taken to hospital. The next day they set her wrist. She still needs surgery on the shoulder next week, when the inflammation has gone down.

After 48 hours she has left the hospital. Even though my sisters and I tried to advise the hospital she lives alone and cannot look after herself, they legally could not do anything.

We knew she wanted to get home to the booze.

My sister cleared all the alcohol out the house, even her secret stash she had in her car. She was devastated when my sister told her.

She has now come up with new ways to obtain alcohol. She is angry at us for trying to help her and we all just feel so helpless now.

Is there anything anyone can suggest, that we can do, to stop this destruction? We love her, but we can see she will kill herself with a fall or something, if we don't do something???
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:51 AM
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Hi Cass, you must feel so helpless. I've dealt with an elderly mother who wasn't an alcoholic, and that was difficult because you have to balance the choices adults make with their welfare. If they won't co-operate in their own care you have to see this as their option, while not neglecting yourself supporting their choice.

Your mother's getting into very old territory, and the next few years will see her becoming more frail. You won't be able to get through to her right now, but perhaps in the next few weeks you can talk her into proper treatment where the withdrawal is managed medically. Explain that you and your sister will support her in every way if she decides to seek treatment, but you can't help her kill herself.

If she refuses to be treated then all you can do is step back as far as humanly possible, and let her make her choices. As a former A, I know that giving up alcohol is difficult, and combine that with failing mental powers can mean she'll never volunteer for recovery. Eventually she'll get to the point where she can't look after herself, and will have to move into an aged home, or she'll have another health crisis which will lead to her end. Sorry, I know that sounds harsh but it's not something you can control at this stage.

I suggest you and your sister get together and research care options for the elderly. She might be amenable to moving into a village where she can live independently but has a crisis alert service, and she can move on to higher care as she becomes less capable.

My sisters and I spoke to my mother's GP about her weight (emaciated) and her drinking in the evening, but don't expect too much from that, as they can only suggest, not force.
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:00 AM
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I'm so sorry for all the chaos and worry you are going through because of your mother's disease. Unbelievable to me, sometimes, how destructive an active alcoholic can be.

I don't know the laws or social services in Australia. I agree with FeelingGreat in that you could perhaps look into some elder care options and try to find a service that would look in on her on a daily basis? You may have more social services available to you than you know.

I am sorry this is so exhausting!

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Old 06-24-2016, 05:20 AM
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Cassandra.....If you can arrange for visiting medical/social services to come to her home.....that might be helpful...
I worry about the possibility of DT's or other withdrawl syndromes, or withdrawl seizure....which can happen, even several 7 or 8 days later..
After surgery on her shoulder...perhaps she could go to a rehabilitation center for a she is unlikely to be able to care for herself very well after the surgery...The medical folks can give her medication, in a managed way to keep her comfortable and out of withdrawls...

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Old 06-24-2016, 05:46 AM
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Unfortunately, this may not be the "bottom" for her. I understand your concern, but alcoholism is extremely powerful. Short of having her involuntarily committed (not a simple thing to do, and may be impossible), you are not going to be able to prevent her from drinking.

And I second what dandy said about the danger of withdrawal. If she's not drinking, she will need medical supervision to safely withdraw.

Are you getting support for YOURSELF at this time? I found Al-Anon to be a lifeline at times like this.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:20 AM
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Just sending you a hug. I am sorry you are going through this.
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