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Thread: Drinking and dementia patients

  1. #1
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    Drinking and dementia patients

    Today my brother told me that when he goes to visit my mom, they drink beer together. He also gives beer to her male friend with dementia. My mom's dementia is more advanced than the friend's, as he still has some short term memory--she has very, very little. does not understand where she is, etc.

    This seems wrong to me. Does it seem wrong to anyone else. or am I being judgmental? I would never give a dementia patient a drink, but the facility does. Am I out of step here?

    She is also on xoloft.

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about the drinking of beer. It may bring back some sense of fun she recognizes if she enjoyed beer before. At some point, her dementia may impair her swallowing ability; then, beer would be a problem.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    This seems like a small bit of pleasure for your mom.

    What exactly are your concerns about beer?

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I would let her have any small pleasures she wants at this point. I don’t see any harm.

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    I don't find any support that occasional alcohol has a negative impact on one with dementia. Since she already has dementia it's not like she'll develop Korsakoff which is linked directly to long-term alcoholism.

    I say let her enjoy the beer and the company.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    My mom likes an occasional sangria or glass of wine with a meal, and we don't have any concerns about it.

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    Okay, thanks. She was a very heavy drinker in life and went through detox when she was in the hospital before being admitted to rehab.

    I thought alcohol destroyed brain cells, that's why it seemed counterintuitive to give her booze again.

    I was also concerned with mixing alcohol with xoloft, since she is being medicated for her behaviors.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Simplemind. She does not have Alzheimers, but maybe the advice is the same for other forms of dementia?

  10. #10
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    If she's got a drinking problem, then yes I would be concerned. My mom didn't drink for a number of years due to interactions with medication, but now that she's no longer taking that, she will have an occasional drink served by us kids on family occasions, as part of being social. I haven't seen her help herself (where I would be worried about possible over indulging because she can't remember what she has eaten or drunk), but with family it seems to make her feel she's still part of the family.

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