Help for 80yr old who's drinking to cope with grief

My mother passed away in December 2016, and father is finding life particularly difficult and we have seen a personality change. He’s started drinking far too much & not eating properly which has left him dizzy and having falls, plus sleeping through the day so he can’t sleep at night. His house is getting very untidy as he’s hoarding magazines, & newspapers. We suspect that underlying all this behaviour change is grief and maybe depression. What can we do to help?

Hi Catkins,

I’m so sorry to hear about your mother passing away and the changes in your father’s behaviour. It does sound as though his grief has had a severe impact and I can see why you are concerned about him. I wanted to suggest a few starting points for getting him the help he needs:

  • There may be local social care services that can help your father. To find out what may be available and how to seek help, you could call the Age UK helpline on 0800 055 6112.
  • Al-anon family support supports people who are worried about a family member’s drinking.
  • The Drinkline helpline can support people worried about someone else’s drinking: 0300 123 1110.
  • Cruse Bereavement has some general advice on How to support someone who’s been bereaved.
  • There is also a recent discussion here on the online community where people are talking about alcohol and grief.