Caring for my Alcoholic and Depressed Dad

Hi All,

This is my first post, I was searching for advise and was directed to a previous post on this site.

I am looking for some advice if possible.

My Dad’s health has declined alot. He is depressed, has a very bad knee/ankle and has a big alcohol dependency. He is currently drinking 1ltr of brandy a day along with beer in between. He has the shakes in the morning until he drinks, unless he wakes up in the night for a drink…

Since separating from my mum he has been renting a flat and has been good friends with the landlord, He has been helping book and take my dad to doctors appointments as he is retired himself and wants to help. However he has now asked him to move out as he keeps making excuses not to go to appointments and instead stays in and drinks. He was meant to go to counselling today but made more excuses not to go and that seems to have been the final straw.

I feel useless and honestly believe he is going to end up killing himself. He won’t take help when offered and is not going to appointments. He is in his 60’s and feels he has no purpose in life. He has very few friends or hobbies (we have tried to get him into various hobbies but he just isn’t interested). My sisters live far away so they are unable to help much.

I am trying my best to help but I have a 2 year old daughter myself, a demanding job and struggling to make ends meet at the moment. I have no time to myself and it is taking it’s toll.

I suffer from anxiety myself and I am losing sleep and suffering from stress and panic attacks. A few years ago I overcome a drug addiction myself so I am sympathetic but I also know the only way I got through it was by taking action myself, nobody can do it for you.

I keep in contact daily and visit as often as I can. I am always offering to take him to the doctors or help with anything else but he always refuses, unless its when he asks me to get him brandy.

Unfortunately we cannot afford to put him in residential rehab.

I guess I wrote this partly to vent and partly for advice. I am being told to help him but I just don’t know how!

Thanks in advance

Hi Simon, I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. It does sound difficult. I’ve sent you a private message

Nothing wrong with venting Simon, it serves a purpose for all of us now and again.

As far as help goes, there’s rarely anything that can be done to help an alcoholic until they say that they want help.

Is there any way that you can restrict his access to alcohol to try and reduce his daily intake?

Who is telling you to help him, and what are they doing to help?

Thanks for the response.

Very difficult to restrict his access, he lives alone so he will get alcohol if he wants it.

It’s mainly his sisters, they live quite far away so they contact me when they are worried about him. Funnily enough one of them contacted me yesterday to say that they are coming down to see him today so hopefully this will be more of a regular occurrence.

He made it to the counselling in the end yesterday after my auntie called the police as they were worried he was going to take his own life, I think that may have jolted him into going. I wonder if sometimes he just needs some ‘tough love’ as he seems to have a lot of self-pity.