Helping an alcoholic from afar

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  • Helping an alcoholic from afar
  • Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    Hi, my Aunt is now 76 and we suspect has become an alcoholic. Over the last 10-15 years or so she has had money concerns, lives alone and has struggled with getting older and being single/alone. Her flat is starting to fall apart. She has been on antidepresant for 15 (!!!) years.

    Anyhow, she has started to avoid meeting family and friends (cancelling last minute as she is either ill or fully admits to drinking too much the night before)  and on a number of occasions has had injuries from falling whilst boozy, black eyes and such. My mother, who is in the UK at the moment from Spain, has tried to visit her twice this week but my Aunt has cancelled on both ocassions. My mum is hectic but yes it’s the usual pattern of cancelling… ! lots of other signs too but i wont go into those here, including however serious weight gain   which we think is adding to the cycle of avoidance.
    She is also repeating herself, i swear we have had the same phonecall every week for 3 months … not sure if it  is dementia.

    I live abroad too,  the nearest relative is my sister who is in London, approx 2-3 hours away.

    Anyhow, what can be done? We in the family have recently ‘agreed’ that she has a problem, but we haven’t raised the issue with my Aunt, as yet.

    thanks

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    Anyhow, what can be done?

    Heehaw to be brutal, people choose how to live their own lives.

    avdave2
    Member

    Heehaw to be brutal, people choose how to live their own lives.

    You know there are people able and willing to help people like you, hard to believe but it’s true, you should seek them out.

    scud
    Member

    I think all you can do is voice to her in the nicest way possible that you have concerns for her health and that you worry about her, and just let her know that you think of her, ask her if you can be of any help and is there anything can be done to assist her?

    The want to change has to come from her, and maybe knowing that family even a good distance away worry about her and care, may be catalyst, but it is a difficult one, especially if she is lonely and with little to look forward to.

    DickBarton
    Member

    Get closest relative to make a trip and go visit her.

    johndoh
    Member

    Having lived with an aunt who drunk herself to death myself (considerably younger than yours) and a mum that smoked and smoked despite having lung cancer operations, I’d guess she’ll do what she’ll do – leave her to enjoy her end of days and support her when and if she asks for it.

    tjagain
    Member

    With great difficulty. Sounds to me like more than just alcohol. She might be self medicating because of depression or dementia. Someone she likes and trusts needs to go and see her to assess what is happening and then get appropriate help for her.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    Cheers, i appreciate it may be very difficult indeed. Those that mention appropriate help, what would that be?

    tjagain
    Member

    Depends on what is happening.

    If there is depression then a gp is the gatekeeper. If it is dementia then social services might be appropriate as she would be a “vulnerable adult”
    If she is a problem drinker then for support for the rest of the family then IIRC there is an organisation called Al anon

    Someone from the family needs to see her and you might have to accept she doesn’t want help

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    Thanks, she apparently hates doctors and doesn’t want to see one. My mother is heading round this week, my aunt has already cancelled one meeting due to ill health. Ta very much

    Heehaw to be brutal, people choose how to live their own lives.

    You know there are people able and willing to help people like you, hard to believe but it’s true, you should seek them out.

    Actually, no I don’t think there are – maybe able, probably not willing

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