Hello everyone,

I’m primarily here to seek advice (and vent!) about help for my mum, who is 74 and an alcoholic. I’m providing care in an unofficial capacity, mostly with cleaning, transport and shopping. I am also trying to work behind the scenes to get something more official sorted but without much luck.

My sister and I are trying not to kill each other while balancing all the above between us.

I’m 34, work full-time running my own business and have a very patient husband and two big doggos. I’m also renovating our house, trying to be a bit less fat and sing regularly in choirs. :blink:

Hi Rachel,
Welcome to the forum.
Sounds like you have your hands full. I can’t help with the booze problem - no experience. I expect you have gone on the al-anon website, which I think helps relatives of people with alcohol dependency?
Just wanted to say ‘Hi’ and by all means vent away.
From what I have read, I believe the key here is for the addict to acknowledge the problem and agree to seek help. If that’s not going to happen as far as you can see perhaps some ‘tough love’ is required? If you and your sister are doing a lot for Mum, (do you buy her her drink?) maybe you are enabling her to carry on? I believe that there is a difference between supporting someone to get better and enabling them to be dependent.
You and your sister are entitled to your own lives and Mum has made her life choices.
A raft beneath your feet might be the fact that no-one is legally obliged to care for another adult. I know how much one feels that looking after a parent is a ‘must’, but your Mum isn’t much older than me and she has time to quit (with help) and live a life which is less dependent on her children.
Perhaps you and your sister should get together and decide between you what you are content to do for Mum for the next goodness how many years and tell her?
Mum, we will do this and this but you have to seek help for the rest of your needs.
Sorry if I haven’t been of much help here.

Hi Rachel,

I could not agree with Elaine more- by performing all of the routine tasks/household chores etc. you are not letting your Mum see the full extent of the damage that is being done through her drinking.

(I have personal experience of this as my Mum was also an alcoholic and a violent one at that. I really don’t want to scare you, but my Mum died a couple of years ago due to her chronic alcoholism).

Have you sat down with Mum whilst she is sober and talked about the way forward? (i.e. rehab, medication to help come off the drink, talks about the future in any way?)

I think this is a must. In any caring situation the chances are you can’t do it all. At some point you might want kids etc and then they need to come first. You are also young and need to earn, build a pension etc etc. I assume the same is true for your sister.

A big turning point for me and my sister was doing just exactly this. Working out what we could do between us without our jobs, families etc suffering. And then outside help filing in the gaps. We applied for Attendance Allowance to pay for extra help. This now works for us. I know Mum will get worse (she has dementia) but we’ll do the same again when the time comes.

We also had some big fallings out along the way. Which is heartbreakign as we are close. Don’t let this drive a wedge between you xx