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Please help me save my alcoholic father

(13 Posts)
findmeagain Fri 15-Jan-16 14:07:39

He has been an alcoholic for years, but I'm starting to feel like we're coming to the end. I can't stop thinking about it and there must be something I and my siblings can do.

I won't bore you with the history but will skip to the situation now. He is completely alcohol dependent, doesn't drink a lot really just sips it to keep going. He's gone really down hill in the last year or so and has become progressively worse. He is also agoraphobic which is making the situation slightly more difficult.
I am almost certain he has cirrhosis of the liver. GP has been to see him, referred him for a liver scan. He is refusing to go. He doesn't eat, GP prescribed Fortijuice he doesn't drink them, says they make him sick. He can't walk, he has no strength as he is really malnourished. He lives on the sofa, twice this week I've have been down and he has soiled himself.
He had a fall a couple of weeks ago and laid on the floor for 12 hours, although he could reach his phone to call for help, he just didn't. My sister is his carer, she's trying her hardest but it's getting too much. She supplies his alcohol because we are scared of he doesn't get it he will die.
We've tried talking to him, but he just gets angry. He doesn't want to be like this I know he doesn't. He's always been a proud hard working man. It's like he's just lost and has given up.
What can we do, we just don't know where to turn

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 15-Jan-16 14:29:55

I am so sorry but the 3cs of alcoholism are once again prescient here:-

You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this

You can only help your own self ultimately and contacting Al-anon is a good place to start. They are very helpful to family members of problem drinkers.

How do you know he does not want to be like this; you may think he does not want to be like this but you are not he. He has made a choice here and that is drink. Its not you as his family; his primary relationship is with drink and has been for many years. You cannot help anyone who does not want to be helped and that is so hard to accept. You as a family are the last people who can help him and I mean that most kindly. He does not want your help or support. You cannot rescue and or save someone who ultimately does not want to be saved. This is why I state you can only help your own self ultimately, you are important and your needs matter. You need to get off the merry go around now.

Alcohol is truly a cruel mistress.

Alcoholism is truly a family disease; it does not just affect the alcoholic. You're all affected and are playing out the usual roles associated with alcoholism in families.

Knitmyshickers10 Fri 15-Jan-16 14:44:47

Attila is very correct, unfortunately there isn't much you can do to help him, he needs to want to stop himself. My mother was exactly the same, little and often every day and she died from it in the end. He will need help from medical professionals to stop safely now as just stopping abruptly can be very dangerous. I wish you lots of strength, I honestly know how horrible it is to feel so helpless. I went NC with my mother the last 2 years of her life, I just couldn't do it any more and had to concentrate on my own DH and DC's.

mum2mum99 Fri 15-Jan-16 14:55:42

It has to come from him. All you can do is lead him to the service providers but ultimately you can't make him. 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink'.

maybebabybee Fri 15-Jan-16 14:57:35

I'm so sorry but there really and truly is nothing you can do. I know how heartbreaking it is to watch someone you love destroy themselves but all you can do is point him in the right direction. Ultimately he has to want to stop flowers

ceruleanblue Fri 15-Jan-16 17:19:30

I've registered just to reply to you, as I lost my dad in very similar circumstances. I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through, but sadly can only echo what PPs have said - the decision to change has to come from him, all you can do is let him know there is help available if he wants it.

I know how helpless and guilty you must feel right now and really wish there was something more we could tell you that would be of use. All I can offer is a virtual hug of support and again wish you lots of strength xx

findmeagain Fri 15-Jan-16 17:54:36

Thank you everyone.

I suppose I sort of knew already, but was hoping there may be something I could do.

It's horrible, every time I visit I wonder if I'm going to find him dead on the floor. When he doesn't answer the phone I think something bad has happened. Then this week, I've never seen him like that before and I just have a feeling it's the end.
I just feel so helpless.

Leigh1980 Fri 15-Jan-16 17:58:27

Maybe call the ambulance. They can take him at least he can stay in a rehabilitation center to help him. He will die if you don't. The

bibbitybobbityyhat Fri 15-Jan-16 18:00:22

Could you try the Salvation Army? I am being perfectly serious. I understand that they sometimes do home visits and have helped someone I know (through the internet, not personally) and literally saved his life. I think your GP is not being proactive enough.

Blushingm Fri 15-Jan-16 21:01:02

I'm sorry but there is nothing you can do. He has to do it

If he really doesn't want to be like this see if his gp can get him in to rehab and withdraw from alcohol in a safe environment

I've been in your situation so I know how frustrating and exhausting and scary it can be. Pm if you want to

LobsterQuadrille Fri 15-Jan-16 22:46:15

Does your father have any desire to get better or has he totally given up? Even if he's given up for now, are there events/things that he could look forward to if were able to recover a little from his current state?

I echo the suggestion that you go to Al-Anon where others will relate to your story. In addition his physical dependency can - with his consent and that of his GP - be lowered gradually and indeed eliminated if it's done very carefully. He would need someone with him 24 hours a day for a few days - and a prescription of Diazepam which should prevent the likelihood of any DTs or seizures which can happen if the alcohol stream is cut too quickly. I've done at home detoxes several times in the past and they have been successful - after say three days the physical dependency has gone and that's when appetite returns and a desire to keep on living.

But all PPs are correct in that nothing will change unless your father accepts that changes are needed. Wishing you the very best of luck.

cojmum Sat 16-Jan-16 08:57:13

Thank you all for your advice.

I'm trying to get my siblings together today for a family meeting to discuss what to do next.

My thinking at the moment is to all turn up and tell him this is it, the last chance. We will do anything to help him, but he has to take the help now. We're all terrified he is going to die and it's affecting us all badly. I can't some anymore, constantly on the verge of tears, it's bringing the mood in my house down and it's not fair that it's starting to affect my children.
I have found an al-anon group and I will ask my siblings if they would like to come along. My brother particularly is in a really bad place at the minute.

bibbitybobbityyhat Sat 16-Jan-16 10:04:49

I am so so sorry, I really am.

My dh's uncle (late 50s) was in the kind of state you describe your father in in your op this time last year. He was so ill (unable to walk etc, not eating) that he had to be admitted to hospital. He has a partner who eventually made this happen.

In hospital he detoxed and he hasn't drunk since and is recovering. My dh's Mum (as in his sister), who had been "helping" him by supporting his partner and helping take care of the animals - they have a smallholding - told him that she would never see him again unless he committed to detoxing and rehab. I think the other three siblings said the same. Although the will to give up drinking does indeed have to come from the alcoholic himself, I do think family cutting off all contact can be the famous rock bottom that flicks the switch in the alcoholic psyche. Not always, of course, but sometimes.

I feel so badly for you all flowers

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