Located in Belgium, not USA
I am the primary caretaker. My 89 year old grandmother has been hospitalized twice for falls related to over-drinking. Once in December 2021 and now in September 2022. Between those hospitalizations, she's also had other falls that were assessed by paramedics.
Due to her age, I previously just let her continue drinking because she's been doing so for years (and because my mother refused to intervene). Telling her she needs to monitor her consumption sort of worked. She's now losing her memory more and not remembering how much she's had to drink. Now that she's been hospitalized twice for falls due to alcohol, I think it's time to cut her off (if not earlier).
The issue is that my mother doesn't believe my grandmother "can" stop drinking, and doesn't feel she has the authority to enforce that on her. It would therefore be my responsibility to communicate to my grandmother that she can no longer drink alcohol, and to contact the service that does her groceries telling them she cannot purchase alcohol.
I guess my question is, am I legitimate in cutting off my grandma from alcohol?
I cannot handle the stress of getting the calls that she's fallen again, or that she's being taken to the hospital due to another fall. Thanks for your input.

Thank you for mentioning your Country.

I can't believe that ur Grandmother is 89 and been a life long drinker. I would have thought she would have damaged her liver long ago.

Me, I don't consider Alcohol a desease. A addiction caused by some chemical imbalance by the brain, yes. It is hereditary. My Grandfather was what they called a "drunk" back when I was growing up. But he was probably an Alcoholic but that word was not being used back when my Mom grew up. It seems Alcholism skipped my Moms kids, but not my Aunts. Her son is a recovering Alcoholic close to 25 yrs. Two of her girls died from overdoses.

So you are very lucky. They only way I see Grandmom stopping is if she is placed in a Longterm care facility with no way to get to alcohol. Maybe cut down on what she drinks? At 89 without the alcohol she will probably fall. Its part of aging. The legs start to give out. I am 73 every thing not to fall. I stopped wearing flip flop types of shoes. I found I do better in my house bearfoot. I live in a 4 story split level with 3 sets of stairs. I try to be careful but it only takes one fall. My dread is the Hospital and then Rehab. I actually get anxious about Rehab.

You really can't live other peoples lives. Sometimes you just have to wait for them to hit bottom. Actually, its Mom I would try and work on. Like I said, I am surprised Grandmom has gone this long.
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Reply to JoAnn29

funkygrandma59: "Also you are not your grandmothers keeper. Why do you feel that you have to be? You have enough of your own issues(according to your other post)and need to be worrying about finishing your education and starting your life, free of this added stress.
Your grandmother is NOT your responsibility!!!!"

YES! Reading that your mother is also an alcoholic, please extricate yourself from this dysfunction. Will you be expected to take care of your mother when she is an older and needy alcoholic?

Also, why do you have the primary responsibility for your grandmother and not your mother? Is your mother not functional?

(I just read your previous post. PLEASE remove yourself from the situation. Why isn't your therapist helping you more?
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Reply to CTTN55

It can be very dangerous for any alcoholic to go cold turkey while trying to quit. And just contacting the place that delivers her alcohol and telling them not to bring it any more won't work for long as an alcoholic will always find ways to get what they want. Your grandmother has to make the choice for herself or it will never work.
However you don't need to keep yourself wrapped up in this family dysfunction. And you don't need to answer the phone when you get them saying that she's fallen. Maybe if she's left to herself she will come to the realization that she in fact needs more help than she thought.
You and your mother need to go to Belgium's version of Al-Anon. It is for family members of alcoholics and it's very helpful. I'm sure you guys have some version of that their, and the meetings are held in person and on Zoom. So please look into that.
Also you are not your grandmothers keeper. Why do you feel that you have to be? You have enough of your own issues(according to your other post)and need to be worrying about finishing your education and starting your life, free of this added stress.
Your grandmother is NOT your responsibility!!!! Period, end of sentence. Nor is she your mothers. So quit getting sucked into her drama, and learn to let go so you can start enjoying your life.
It's probably best at this point to let her on her own(and not answer her calls)and let the chips fall where they may. It may be then and only then that she will get the help she needs.
I wish you well.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
caretaker2000 Sep 14, 2022
My grandmother is being hospitalized for a week with no access to alcohol, therefore continuing her sobriety from that point isn't stopping cold turkey.
How do you think an 89 year old gets up from a fall? Not well. Her assisted living facility has to be contacted when she falls at the very least.
My mother is also an alcoholic and we don't live together so we're not going to go to AA together. I might check it out though.
My mother and I care about my grandmother and we're not just going to abandon her ?? She's no longer capable of reaching out for help on her own, and I don't even know what kind of help she would look for. She lives in an assisted living facility and she's well-aware that she needs help.
Ensure G'ma's Doctor has the truth about her drinking level.

Next fall, ensure the hospital Nurse in Charge & Social Worker also know. Then appropriate discharge & treatment can be arranged.

Sooner or later (most prob sooner) a rehab stay will be become long-term care.

It is hard to watch LOs make bad choices, lose the ability to self-care & lose independence. But it often cannot be prevented or fixed.
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Reply to Beatty
caretaker2000 Sep 14, 2022
The doctor knows. She was admitted to the hospital on the basis that she drank too much and that caused her fall. We can't force her into rehab, I don't know if rehab even has the capabilities of caring for the needs of an 89 year old patient..
If this can't be prevented or fixed, why even take measures against it?
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You’ve been dutiful and done your best, and it’s time to move forward with your own life. Grandma is an alcoholic. That’s a serious disease and she needs professional help. It’s okay to walk away. Please discuss this in depth with your therapist, who should be advised that you need a way OUT.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Fawnby

Even without drinking, many elders have frequent falls. I would be cautious about cutting her off from drinking. I wonder if she'd need to go to rehab for it to be done in a supported way and for it to actually work?

You can handle the stress. It's not your fault that she's old or that she drinks.
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Reply to againx100
CTTN55 Sep 14, 2022
You don't know whether or not she can handle the stress. And she shouldn't have to; Granny should NOT be her concern.
A doctor should be involved. A person who drinks daily will most likely need to be weaned from drinking. As I am sure others will indicate it can actually be dangerous for someone to just stop.

Down the line it would be best for someone this age ( or really any age ) to not consume large quantities of alcohol. If it is possible to just drink one drink at least for awhile that of course would be better but possibly unlikely. Your mother should really be the person to show more responsibility with her mother rather than put this on your shoulders. Perhaps the situation has to grow worse to get better. It can be very difficult to deal with alcoholics, possibly impossible at least for someone who does not have the experience to do so.
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Reply to Riverdale

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