Support for Alcholoic father

Hi, I’m hoping someone can help me with some advice and support. My dad has been an alcoholic for my entire life (I’m 36). He’s still with my mum, who I see regularly, she’s been his sole carer since me and my brother ‘switched off’ from him when I was about 14. I see him nut he’s just another bloke to me, uve never had a dad in the traditional sense. He’s been into rehab twice and never lasted more than a week. I’ve had to deal with the issues associated with being a child of an alcoholic all my life. My mum tries to keep his issues away from me as she knows I’m not interested but it severely affects her and sometimes the upset slips through which I understand.
They moved house in January and since then his drinking has spiralled out of control (it wasn’t great before but its got so much worse) To the outside world he’s a meek and slight of a man, but to her he’s verbally abusive and very controlling when drunk. He drinks a litre of vodka a day (he’s 71). He’s been complaining of feeling very poorly, suicidal comments, says he’s got cancer, says he’s got covid etc. Refuses to go the doctor, doesnt eat, only drinks vodka, ignores any help offered but continues to moan. Anyway, fast forward to last week when he started having a seizure, mum calls 999, blue lighted to hospital and they say its due to withdrawl (turns out it had been 24 hours since his last drink as he’d not been out due to feeling unwell) so accidentally withdrawl. We’re now 5 days in hospital and they’ve put him through a controlled withdrawl, however he is very confused, does not know where he is or why he’s there, has had to be restrained and is one step away from being sectioned.
I’ve waffled I apologise, but my ask is what do we do when he comes out? He doesn’t want to stop drinking, so as soon as he’s able to he’ll drink and end up back in hospital costing the NHS again. I know this will happen. My mum doesn’t deserve anymore bad treatment but I don’t know how to get her support. I want her out of this situation but she won’t kick him out because he’d be dead in a week and that’d be on her conscience. I sound cold I realise but I grieved for my dad when I was 14, he was in rehab and I had to write a letter to tell him all the crap he’d put me through - his response was anger towards me. So from that day he’s lost me. All I care about is my mum and how I can help her. Thank you if you’ve read this far, I appreciate it x

Sadly, the drink is more important than anything else.
He probably cannot change now, and it’s affected his brain.
Have they done a brain scan?
Sectioning would be the best thing from mum’s point of view, surely?

Depending on te type of section it might mean free aftercare for the rest of his life - hopefully away from mum?

Thanks for the reply. You’re right about the drink, I’ve been aware of that for many years. He does not want to change, in fact I’d say he wants to die tbh and has wanted to for a while. He’s a troubled soul.

In terms of tests, yes I believe they’ve done a brain scan but not had results yet. Mum’s been in today and he was less confused so they seem less concerned now and looks like it won’t be sectioning for now. Not sure what the alternative is but I can’t see any improvement if/when he returns home so I really feel for mum and how she will cope.

Does your mother have to have your father home Kate? Does she want him home? It might be worth you or your mother contacting Al Anon - they are a support organisation for relatives of alcoholics.

I can say alcoholics are often very bitter and mega manipulative and controlling - it is ALWAYS someone else’s fault and never theirs! My husband too used to drink nearly a litre of vodka a day at his worse. To others he appeared a ‘nice’ man but to me he was a total monster. Yes he has cut down but the ‘alcoholic personality’ is still there and also he has various health issues which I feel his years of heavy drinking contributed to. I am left to try and deal with these health issues as his carer.

I would urge your mother to get support as it will NOT get better given his age and the sheer amount he drinks.

Does the hospital he is in offer any support to relatives of alcoholics? Some hospitals have Alcohol Liaison workers. My husband was offered this back in 2013 but would not engage. I take your point that your mother does not want to kick your father out but if she is going to have him back, she wants and needs support to cope with what is going to be thrown at her and so do you? I guess you could write to her GP telling them how concerned you are about your mother. I wish I could be more helpful but having been there myself, I know how hard it is to get help unless you are prepared to start divorce proceedings and I could not or I would have lost my home.

Thanks Helena, I would say she’d rather not have him home but the alternative (to her) is almost certain death of my dad if she decides not to (unless there is an alternative we don’t know about). He would not be able to function on his own, he’d drink himself to death which I believe would then be on mum’s conscience, she’d totally blame herself.

She’s not very pragmatic or strong emotionally (understandably) and relies on me to be that for her. I’ve told her to seek help via Al.Anon and through therapy which she’s done many times in the past. If I’m honest I don’t know why she’s still with him. I myself cut them both off about 8 years ago because of his drinking primarily. I had a husband and young daughter and I couldn’t cope with him too so I had to almost set myself free for a while. I also had a lot of resentment towards my mum - why did she stay with him, with did she allow her children to be left at home with an alcoholic, why did she allow her kids in a car with him etc. Having my own child really brought it home to me. My mum sought therapy herself during that time (as did i) and my dad responded by cutting me out of his will (which means nothing to me as I couldn’t care less about inheritance). It lasted 2 years but my mum and I have a stronger relationship now. But when I decided to rekindle the relationship with mum it was on the proviso that she didn’t bother me with dad stuff. She has decided to stay with him but I haven’t, I made that break and she respected that. I feel guilt for doing that but I had to preserve my own young family and mental health. My point here is that I’ve no idea why mum has stayed with him or stays loyal? Does she feel guilty? I don’t know. I suspect she is in a similar position that you were in that she would be homeless and penniless (but she’d have me and my brother, and we love her unconditionally and would protect and support her in every way possible). I have told her this but whether she will take that step I doubt it. Thank you for your reply xx

You are a very strong lady Kate and I am so glad you have managed to have emotionally distanced yourself from your father. I feel for you with regard to your mother, but at the end of the day, she is an adult, and I guess she has to be allowed to make her own decisions, but I can understand how painful it is for you, as you and your brother are offering support. If he keeps drinking a litre of vodka a day, then I think his time may be limited and the situation could resolve itself, but the health issues associated with late stage alcoholism are not nice.

I stayed because I had literally no one to turn to and thought my husband would be dead by now - he is much older than me, and he has survived an acute on chronic brain heamatoma, septeacemia and kidney reading going down to 7% and a pulmonary embolism. He is medically non compliant which makes things very hard. If I had had family support, I would definitely have gone for divorce rather than being bullied into trying to care for him, back in 2013, but I honestly thought his time was limited. I can understand your mother’s ambivalence if she once loved your father but with alcoholics, the person they once were dies a slow and difficult death. I did not want to lose my home and my beloved cats. My husband has cut down but is still a very difficult bitter old man.

I guess as hard as it is, you have disengage a little from your mother for your own sanity right now and be there when the end comes. I wish you and your mother all the very best.

Thank you Helena and the same to you. I really appreciate your comments and 100% understand what you’re going through too. Stay strong, you sound amazing and brave. Take care x

I thought I’d post an update on my dad. He was covid positive on Wednesday and had septicemia too. They asked mum to take him home Thursday which she refused given his covid status and the fact they hadn’t even discussed any recovery plan or community care etc. Then Friday evening she was called to come in immediately, he’d had a massive heart attack. He was out for at least 2 minutes but possibly longer because he wasn’t on a heart monitor, one of the Dr’s just found him. We spent all evening there and got to see him, but he’s completely unconscious and unresponsive now, there’s nothing more they can do except make him pain free and comfortable. They said to expect him to last maybe 24 hours at most. We got kicked out of the ward at midnight, mainly because they were worried about our covid exposure. We’re all OK, mainly because we lost this man years ago and really have already grieved for him. Mum is coping well. But it’s a waiting game now, which is incredibly sad.

Kate, at times like this it’s difficult to know what to say, or wish for.
At the end of my life I want to be pain free and comfortable, so he is in the right place.
goodness you didn’t have him at home when this happened.

I’m afraid this is now the time to think which funeral director you may need. Don’t delay, charges can vary significantly.
I’ve dealt with two sudden deaths, arranging things in that situation is even worse than it is with just a little forward planning.

Hi Kate

Your mum was very sensible to refuse discharge as it turns out.

I don’t have anything to suggest at this stage except be aware that grief sometimes gets us when we least expect it. Even in situations like this. Be strong for each other, just in case.

My heart goes out to you and your mother Kate. All I can say is that your mother lost the man she once loved many years ago. But yes she will grieve for what might have been, could have been and all you can do is offer support. I hope your father finally finds peace. I am relived though that this happened in hospital, horrible as it sounds, rather than at your mother’s home. Thinking of you right now. Al Anon can I think still offer support if needed even if the alcoholic is no longer in this world.

Thinking of you Kate.
Will be very mixed emotions for you and your Mother.
My mother’s mother was an alcoholic, estranged from us. When she found out she had died, she cried, even though she couldn’t even call her mother, was always her 1st name if mentioned.

Thank you all so much for your kind words.

Dad passed away earlier this evening. He’s at peace now :heart:

The end of a chapter in your lives.
Try to concentrate solely on what must be done between now and the funeral.
Everything else can wait. Make sure you and mum eat properly.
After I was widowed I couldn’t be bothered to eat properly, then woke hungry at 3am.