Dear Abby: Elderly parents drink too much, argue

SHARE Dear Abby: Elderly parents drink too much, argue

DEAR ABBY: I have been concerned about my parents for some time now. They are elderly and live in a retirement community. They have a very nice home and don’t have to worry about money.

The problem is, they drink every day — sometimes from noon to when they go to bed. Many times, their drinking has caused arguments and police visits. When I express my concern about their drinking, they tell me to stay out of it, mind my own business, and they’re retired and have earned the right to do whatever they want.

Abby, I don’t mind them having cocktails every now and then, but this has gotten out of hand. I think they have become alcoholics and only bad things are coming of it. They refuse to listen to me, or anybody else, for that matter. What should I do? — WORRIED WILLIAM IN NEW YORK

DEAR WILLIAM: As people age, their bodies are sometimes less able to metabolize alcohol than they were when they were younger. When things get out of hand to the extent that the police are being called, I agree something must be done.

Because there is this level of disruption going on, it follows that the neighbors in that very nice retirement community must be less than thrilled. That your parents drink is only part of the problem. Elderly people can suffer from balance problems even when they are sober. It is common for someone who is inebriated to fall, which could cause your mom or dad to suffer serious injury.

If other family members are also worried about your folks, an intervention might be in order. Before attempting one, attend some Al-Anon meetings so you can listen to others’ similar experiences and learn how they were handled. Visit, or call (888) 4-ALANON to find a meeting near you.

TRENDING STORIES: 3 children, 1 man dead in fire set at South Chicago apartment building Slain boy’s grandmother calls for War on Guns Dear Abby: Pain of dog bite both physical and emotional

DEAR ABBY: I went out to dinner with a close friend last night. During the hour we were at the restaurant, she made and received no less than 11 cellphone calls. These were entire conversations, not unanswered rings or a quick, “I’m busy now. Call you later.”

If there had been extenuating circumstances, maybe I wouldn’t feel so offended. But the chats were with a co-worker, someone from church, her boyfriend, her daughter, etc.

This friend does “live” on her phone, but this was excessive even for her. I thought it was ridiculous, and next time I may be “too busy” to meet her for dinner. Should I say something or just avoid or limit meals with her in the future? — PUT ON HOLD IN TEXAS

DEAR PUT ON HOLD: Tell your friend that you were very hurt by her lack of consideration at dinner because you had looked forward to spending some time with her — not listening secondhand to her 11 conversations. Her behavior that night was thoughtless and rude, and she owes you an apology.

DEAR ABBY: Should stepchildren and their offspring be recorded in your family Bible? — KEEPER OF THE FAMILY BIBLE

DEAR KEEPER: Yes, if they are considered members of the family.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

The Latest
Bank lending for drilling projects like Willow is not only bad for the environment. It will weaken the impact of a historic $370 billion investment our country will make in the next decade on green technology and alternatives to oil and gas.
In addition to added congestion Tuesday morning, commuters looking for an alternative had to deal with trains being stopped for a time on the Union Pacific Northwest Line near Barrington.
The attacker knocked on the back door and pushed it open in the 7600 block of North Sheridan Road, Chicago police said.
Both firefighters were hospitalized with injuries not considered to be serious.