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My Dad is an alcoholic - Carers UK Forum

My Dad is an alcoholic

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Hi! I'm new here and a bit nervous but I am at the end of my tether.
I have been caring for my Dad for over two years now as he has broken both ankles. Because he did not make any effort he is now dependent on a wheelchair. He has finally allowed carers to go in twice a day but he is being really rude to them and is drinking heavily.I tried to contact him today to say I could not visit tomorrow as I am not well and he has ignored me. I don't know what to do.
Leave it to the carers. If he needs help then he can call them. Ultimately, no one can be forced to care. He has created his own problems, and must now accept the consequences. How old is he? Does he have any mental degeneration due to his drinking?
My dad 45, i'am so sad :(
Hi 6th element (love the name btw)
Welcome , and don't be worried about being new. This is a very safe and private place to share your woes and get advice.

I have some experience of alcoholism through trying to care for a friend over many years. She has since passed away.

It is one of the worst situations for a carer to be in as most alcoholics are extremely self centred and totally blind to the needs and emotions of others. I try to tell myself that they are this way because over the years the alcohol destroys parts of the brain but it is still hard to take.

One of the first things to learn is that you, nor anyone else, can cure or help Dad with his alcoholism. If and when he decides to get help he will have to do it for himself.

You need to arm yourself with the forums Teflon overcoat which protects you from all barbs and hurts he flings your way. It just deflects them so they slide right off..
Then you contact al-anon who help families of alcoholics http://www.al-anonuk.org.uk
In the meantime you protect yourself by setting limits as to how much you do and how much time you spend caring as it will be a long haul and you need to maintain your own physical and mental well being to be able to cope in the future.
It's worth taking a step outside the situation and see if the care you have been giving is in effect enabling Dad to stay in his position as victim, when in fact he needs to realise that only he can make things easier for himself

I'm so sorry if this all sounds harsh, but trust me, we are here to look after you, you as carer are our main concern

Have a virtual (((hug))), yes it is sad, but it is not your fault.
Sending hugs and I echo what the other posters say. The only person responsible for your father's alcohol problem is himself. I have been married to what was once a high functioning alcoholic for 28 years and am now his carer. Long term alcohol abuse does affect the brain. If you are not able to physically and emotionally care for your father - and you sound very young so why should you?, then in your position, I would write to his GP and say you no longer have vulnerable contact and he is a 'vulnerable adult'. I am sending hugs too. Agree alcoholics are totally self centered and blame everyone but themselves! I am sorry to sound harsh as I know he is your father, but please put yourself first. You can never win over this disease.
Sorry meant 'regular contact' as in taking responsibility for him! Blond senior moment. Also I would write to the Manager of the Care Agency and tell them . If the Carers are worried about your father they will contact his GP or call 999 in an emergency especially if they realise there are not family members able to take responsibility.
Can I ask where mum is?
It is sad, very sad, but there is nothing more you can do but feel sad for someone who chooses to spend his life drinking himself into oblivion, with no regards to himself and those who love him, but never lose hope, one day it may change.

In the meantime as the man is so happy spending all his time with his beloved bottle, let them get on with it.

Been around enough alcohol and drug abusers to know, this is what they want, it is a life style they have chosen to enter. It is a lifestyle which reaks havoc and violence, it is a lifestyle which clogs up our hospitals and their resources, it is a lifestyle which is self centred and selfish, but it is lifestyle many have chosen to put behind them, and with the help offered, they do succeed.

Other than feeling sad for him, keep on at him to "dry out" because you know he can if he really wanted to.
It can sometimes be difficult to know WHY someone becomes an addict/alcoholic - sometimes it is 'self-medication' for dreadful things that have been done to you, but sometimes it is, I think, simply 'weakness' or, perhaps more kindly, 'unintended'. I know, for example, that my alcohol intake has increased over the years dramatically - I was virtually teetotal when young. Drinking wine 'every night' has become a habit and a comfort. At what point does one become 'alcohol depenent' and then actually 'addicted'??

I know there is a theory of 'the addictive personality' but I guess I'm too puritan in my morality to buy into that! Maybe I'm wrong though. (Personaly I doubt that!!!!!) (but I still could be - maybe it IS genuinely 'easier' for some folk to slip into addiction than for others - for reasons that are NOT 'psycholgoical' but physiological)(and maybe there is some evidence of this, for example those of Oriental background - sorry, not sure what the correct ethnic description is - DO lack a gene that codes for the digestion/breakdown of alcohol, and so are inherently more susceptible - so maybe the same is true of 'the addictive personality'???)