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How to Get the Dementia Patient to Alcohol Rehab

Are you worried about getting older and losing your memories? A lot of people start thinking about these things around middle age and later. But if you drink a lot, you may need to think about these much earlier. 

I’m talking about the time in case you end up with dementia from an alcohol disorder. According to a national report in France, individuals with alcohol use disorder were over 3 times more likely to get dementia later in life.

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What is alcoholic dementia? Well, simply, dementia is a clinical syndrome that is caused by a disease that leads to the damage of brain cells. Alcoholic dementia arises when you start to lose memories or have trouble remembering this or that because of a heavy drinking problem.

Alcoholic dementia is dangerous enough to ruin your quality of life! When your loved one is fighting with dementia because of alcohol abuse, it’s time you get him into rehab right away. Let’s jump to the blog for keys to all the answers about getting the dementia patient to alcohol rehab!

How to Get a Dementia Patient to Alcohol Rehab?

4 ways to get a dementia patient to alcohol rehab

Talking to alcoholics about dementia and alcohol rehab requires sensitivity and strategic planning. When my aunt started to show symptoms of dementia, my family knew that her alcohol disorder had been causing this. But approaching her was challenging.

So,  in my experience, if you choose a quiet and comfortable setting and approach with care rather than blame, it’s not that big of a deal. 

Following these measures could make your way easy toward your loved one-

Initiate the conversation

Starting the conversation demands empathy and patience. Listen to their talk of struggles and express your concerns with love. Share specific observations, highlighting negative alcoholic impacts. Show care and support rather than passing judgment on.  

Look for treatment options

Search, find and consult with medical professionals to get the best-suited programs for your patient. Seek facilities with special expertise and offers, considering the location, amenities, therapeutic approaches and service qualities.

Make a smooth transition

A smooth transition needs neat planning. Collaborate with healthcare providers to ensure a seamless transfer with all the necessaries. Prepare your patient mentally by highlighting potential positive changes after rehab.

Support them through the journey

Support them with proper communication and encouragement. Attend therapy sessions together if possible, and encourage healthy habits. patient with setbacks, understanding the unique challenges they face.

Treatment for Alcoholic Dementia

There is no cure for dementia yet, but signs can be controlled and the disease can be slowed down. Quitting drinking should be the first thing that people with memory do to get better. There are a lot of therapeutic options that can help you quit, which is great. 

Inpatient Rehab

People who are having a hard time quitting drinking should consider inpatient recovery. In inpatient rehab, you must stay at a treatment center for days, weeks, or months. Inpatient rehab is meant to happen right after detoxing from drinking. It also shows people techniques and resources that can help them change the way they think about alcohol.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient rehab has the same goals and services as inpatient treatment. The biggest difference is that people in rehab don’t live near groups, therapies, and other activities. This gives you more freedom and a regular routine in rehab. Because it is less intensive, outpatient treatment is better for first-timers or people who don’t have major health problems due to drinking, like alcoholic dementia.

Support Groups

Support groups can be very helpful in getting better. These things may be part of rehab, but they are also helpful for recovery. They can help someone get better and keep getting better by using the skills they learned in rehab. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and SMART Recovery are two good examples of support groups for people who are trying to beat alcoholism.


Medication is an important part of treating alcoholic dementia. Cholinesterase inhibitors, such as donepezil, may be given to improve brain function, and benzodiazepines may be used to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms and ease some of the signs of dementia. Also, medications for sleep, antipsychotics, or antidepressants may also be suggested.

Behavioral Therapy

CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), which alters negative thought patterns and behaviors brought on by drinking, can treat alcoholic dementia. Individualized treatments help people deal with stress, handle triggers, and make decisions. Behavioral therapy helps support systems understand each other, stay sober and deal with the social aspects of brain decline caused by alcoholism.

How Alcohol Causes Dementia?

Alcoholism can greatly increase the risk of developing dementia through a number of interconnected paths. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over time damages brain cells and disrupts chemical systems.

Long-term drinking can make you deficient in nutrients, especially thiamine (vitamin B1), which is important for brain function. When you don’t get enough thiamine, you can develop the serious disease Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is characterized by memory loss and cognitive issues.

Because the liver is crucial for eliminating toxins from the body and breaking down alcohol, liver disease brought on by excessive drinking increases the likelihood of developing dementia. Hepatic encephalopathy is a problem that can happen with severe liver disease and makes it harder to think and remember things.

About 3% of dementia cases were directly linked to drinking. Even more shockingly, the number was almost 40% higher when experts only looked at cases of early-onset dementia and alcohol abuse.

How Do I Know If I Have Alcoholic Dementia?

Identify drinking dementia by observing changes in behavior and thinking, such as memory loss, uncertainty, and difficulty focusing. Early signs include worse problem-solving skills, irritability, mood swings, and lack of self-care. Family and friends can help identify the disease. Professional opinion and cognitive tests can help with early intervention and appropriate treatment.

What Is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome?

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS) is a serious brain disorder that is mostly caused by not getting enough thiamine (vitamin B1), which is often linked to drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time.

WKS has two separate stages: Wernicke’s encephalopathy, which causes confusion, ataxia, and problems with eye movement, and Korsakoff’s psychosis, which causes serious memory loss, lying, and other cognitive problems. 

WKS happens because drinking too much alcohol is bad for the brain and leaves out important nutrients. Early diagnosis and thiamine supplements are very important for stopping brain damage that can’t be fixed. If you don’t treat WKS, it can lead to serious cognitive loss. This shows the importance of treating nutritional deficiencies caused by drinking right away.

People Also Asked

Is Alcohol-related Dementia Treatable?

Yes, of course, alcohol-related dementia is treatable by preventing symptoms from worsening. But it is always suggested that the earlier you seek treatment or try rehab, the faster the treatment works. Several treatment options exist, such as inpatient, outpatient, therapies, etc.

Can alcoholic dementia be reversed?

Yes, it can. But it depends on what’s making it happen. In its early stages, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome can be managed but becomes permanent over time. Alzheimer’s caused by drinking can’t be cured with the treatments we have now. But the damage that drinking does to your brain might get better if you stop. Because of this, quitting drinking is the best way to prevent or treat dementia.

Anyone who drinks regularly may already be at risk of dementia. If you or any close one of yours is having symptoms like forgetting everything every now and then and finding it hard to remember important things, you might want to get caught up with a medical checkup. Don’t sit back there and wait for it to burst out. Get your dementia patient into rehab today!

Tony McKenzie

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