My 76 Year Old Alcoholic Husband: I Don't Know What To Do?
I have been with my husband for 11 years, married nearly 3. He is 76 and I just turned 68. I knew he was a heavy drinker, perhaps an alcoholic when we met. He has for the most part had a drinking schedule. Start around 2 PM and have 3 or 4 drinks, take a nap and start drinking again around 10 PM and have 3 or 4 more.
He rarely actually got drunk ... now and then he would get slurred speech, but not commonly. Lately he has been having trouble walking, and it's getting worse. His sleeping patterns are very erratic. Two weeks ago he announced he was a drunk, and had been hiding that when he got up while I was in bed he was having a drink, no matter what time it was.
Since that time he drinks, sleeps, drinks sleeps ... got staggering drunk last night. I don't know what to do. I am alternately angry, scared, apologetic for being mean. I'm not a mean person, I cry all the time, I'm afraid he'll die and I am alone and far from my family ... now I can't even visit them, I'm afraid he'll die he can't begin to take care if himself.
Alcoholism in the elderly is actually quite common and because there usually tend to be other health concerns to consider at that age, it does complicate things.
We usually don't recommend making a G.P. first point of call when it comes to seeking advice on alcoholism or addiction because it is such a specialized field - with someone of your husband's age however - going to see his G.P. is probably the first thing you should do.
Hopefully like with most people of your husband's age - he has a fairly good relationship with his G.P. because he's probably having to see him on a regular basis. That's why you should make an appointment to go and see him and see what he recommends.
Ultimately though, it will boil down to how much will your husband has left to live and whether he's prepared to try and fight his alcoholism. Because that's what it's going to take to defeat it.
There are professionals that can help him - so perhaps between you and his G.P. you can convince him to get treated for his alcoholism. But how effective that will be depends entirely on how much your husband wants it.
It's terribly difficult to have to deal with what you're faced with, but try and stay as calm as you possibly can and seek out the advice of professionals in your area. It might even require that your husband has to be admitted into a Care Facility.
All the Best