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Ex husband is an alcoholic and I am worried about his elderly mother

(44 Posts)
pinkchampagne1 Wed 07-Feb-18 18:11:59

Basically, my ex husband (my DS's father) has had mental health and severe alcohol issues for about 5 years now. He appears to function ok for so long and then he goes on a drinking binge where he drinks bottles of neat vodka for days on end. Around a year and a half ago he was in ICU fighting for his life after ingesting his own vomit.

He is now living with his elderly mother (she is 84 next month) and still has regular drinking binges.
Yesterday his mother phoned us in tears as she had nobody else to turn to and he was in such a bad way that she had had paramedics out and police round. He apparently got a knife and was threatening to stab himself unless she got him vodka. However, by the time the police arrived he was able to talk to them quite normally and they left, just advising her to let him have some drink as it is dangerous to go cold turkey.

We popped round today to check she was ok and the house absolutely stank where he had been vomiting, urinating and messing himself on her sofa. He was upstairs in the bedroom and we could hear him vomiting and demanding she bring him vodka between vomits.
She said that no one can help her as they all say it must be him that asks for the help. Social services are going to visit apparently but not until the end of this month.

I know people think we shouldn't get involved but she is an elderly lady with no family around her and we are worried about her.
Has anyone got any advice as to how we can get some support for her?

QuiteLikely5 Wed 07-Feb-18 18:36:21

Poor woman.

He sounds vile. She could throw him out? Then call police if he creates a scene.

The council will give him a hostel at the very least.

pinkchampagne1 Wed 07-Feb-18 21:08:56

I think she would worry about him being alone in case he dies. I wish they could section him or something but apparently he would need an assessment when sober for that.

I wish there was something that someone could do to help her as it is too much for her.

niceupthedance Wed 07-Feb-18 21:16:58

I think you could report to adult safeguarding your concerns, sounds like he is pretty abusive. Also age uk may be able to advise where to seek help.

retirednow Wed 07-Feb-18 21:24:50

Is he living in her house, this can't continue, he needs medical help, she can't be expected to look after him and i find it hard to believe the police advised her to give him alcohol, I'd have thought that if he is vomiting, being doubly incontinent and abusive he ought to be in hospital. Cant she just call an ambulance and tell them he has to go, especially if its her house.

Hellywelly10 Wed 07-Feb-18 21:30:10

I wonder if she has grounds to get a restraining order out against him?

LizardMonitor Wed 07-Feb-18 21:35:14

Poor woman.
I should imagine she feels very unwilling to kick him out unless he has somewhere safe to go.
Does he have his own place?
Is she havjng to clean up after him? It sounds vile and very unhygienic.

Calling Age Concern is a good idea, and Adult Services.

He sounds very bad. As if he will either have to find it within himself to seek help and stop drinking, or lose his life sad

retirednow Wed 07-Feb-18 21:35:36

Why does your mil think he needs to be sober to be sectioned or taken to hospital, he may be a danger to himself or to her, especially when he is on a binge.

TitaniasCloset Wed 07-Feb-18 21:55:33

Tell her to call an ambulance. Once he is taken in they can send someone round to assess him. She needs to be very very clear that she is not allowing him back in her house after he is taken to hospital and that he will likely die if they release him with nowhere to go.

TitaniasCloset Wed 07-Feb-18 21:56:23

Poor woman. And poor him too, alcoholism is an awful condition.

TitaniasCloset Wed 07-Feb-18 21:57:28

If she tries to get help for him through out patients it a long long process and they will just fob her off. At least in my area.

pinkchampagne1 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:01:15

Thank you all for your advice. I hadn't thought of contacting Age Concern.

She said that the mental health team want to actually speak to him and he is too intoxicated to talk to anyone. She has also called 111 and the paramedics numerous times. He apparently went to hospital 3 times last week but came back home in a cab. He has since got much worse.

He does have his own place but he is selling it (I believe the sale is going through) and she worries about him being alone in a house. He was in his own house when he ended up ingesting his vomit and nearly dying. Luckily she was round there with him at the time. She is naturally terrified of something similar happening.

She is having to constantly clean up after him. She had washed all the covers of her sofa where he has urinated and vomited over them but the stains have gone right through and the house smells terrible.

pinkchampagne1 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:08:34

He has been admitted to hospital numerous times before and I think the paramedics are reluctant to come out to him.
He has also threatened to stab himself before and mental health were involved while he was in hospital last time. I wish they would section him.

Hellywelly10 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:18:53

I think ex mil needs to make a decision if she can have him in her house or not?

pinkchampagne1 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:30:22

I don't think she wants him there at all but she worries about him being alone and drinking himself to death. It seems to make little difference whether he is with her or not though as she clearly cannot control his drinking. sad

TitaniasCloset Wed 07-Feb-18 22:31:01

Why are they not sectioning him? This is disgusting. They seem to be waiting for him to sober up and be together enough to access the help himself, he is too far gone for that! If he tries to detox himself he could fit and die! Ffs. That is bollox that is.

TitaniasCloset Wed 07-Feb-18 22:32:17

Could she phone his GP? Tell them how serious the situation is.

pinkchampagne1 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:35:26

I know, it is so frustrating. It is almost impossible for someone to try and get help for an alcoholic as all the professionals just say 'it has to come from him', which is all well and good but he is too out of it to phone for help himself and his poor mother is in a terrible state trying to deal with him on her own.

pinkchampagne1 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:37:42

I believe she has tried that and got nowhere. I think she got the 'it has to be him that asks for help' line again and got so frustrated that she put the phone down on them

annandale Wed 07-Feb-18 22:40:33

I don't know what the answer is. Based on my experiences this week i can well believe that no-one will help her. I suspect that it is not coming either from him or from her. She will need to get legal advice and then to evict him (assuming that is legally possible) and then wash her hands of him. Can you help her do that?

retirednow Wed 07-Feb-18 22:43:58

I would call an ambulance and the police, have him taken to hospital and make it very clear that he can not come back and that you have reported this to the social services adult safeguarding team. The hospital need to know that she cannot have him at home anymore, I cannot believe they just let him discharge himself. He needs to be in a safe environment and gave detox while the social services or mental health team sort out a long term solution. Your poor mil, alcohol dependency is a terrible illness for everyone, he is killing himself.

HorsesCourses Wed 07-Feb-18 23:06:38

Have you looked into Al-Anon, a support group for those with an alcoholic in their life. I don't think they can help practically to get your exMIL through the immediate "crisis" but they could be a useful source of support for her ( and for you and your DS).
It is true that people cannot be sectioned when they are drunk. He also cannot be made to go to hospital or held there against his will. Or detoxed against his will. It is awful but there really is little she can do unless her son accesses help for himself.
I have been in this exact situation. It took my DH 15 months to drink and starve himself to death, whilst living at his mum's and making her life a living hell. No doubt people will think i'm awful but I will never forgive him for abandoning his little boys and refusing help when so many people tried and tried and begged. He left two DSs aged 4 and 9.
His mother may be frightened to kick him out because he will just come back and cause a scene or be violent or aggressive to her. It's an awful situation.
Not being funny... Jeremy Kyle show?- only place I can think of where someone will actively intervene and offer decent rehabilitation and support for the wider family.

retirednow Wed 07-Feb-18 23:17:07

Is he known to the mental health team, if so is there a crisis team who she could call. I can't understand why someone who is threatening self harm can just be left with an elderly woman, what will happen if one of them is injured, I bet they'd quickly section him then.

pinkchampagne1 Wed 07-Feb-18 23:22:00

Oh that's awful, HorsesCourses. I am so sorry you have been through this. sad
My ex sounds very similar. He doesn't eat at all while on one of his drink binges - he just drinks bottles and bottles of neat vodka for days on end. He has even been to rehab for 7 weeks (paid for by his mum) and went on a drinking binge the very night he came home. The rehab place said he needed longer of course that would cost thousands and his mum didn't have anymore money.

I would support his mother if she wanted him out of the house but I fear she is too soft and wouldn't throw him out. She worries about him terribly.

She has been attending the Al Anon meetings every Friday and found them very supportive.

pinkchampagne1 Wed 07-Feb-18 23:24:06

The mental health team were visiting him when he was last in hospital so he will be known to them. I will mention the crisis team to her. She just doesn't know where to turn.

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