Can my father drink alcohol when he has Alzheimer’s? What about medication problems?

Always contact your father’s doctor when you could get into medication or health matters like this. If your father sees more than one doctor, make sure he sees his primary care physician (who likely sees him most regularly and writes prescriptions for him).

If this physician thinks it is OK for your father to drink, he will tell how much is permissible. Doctor’s orders must be adhered to very closely. Too much alcohol could trigger an adverse reaction and set off a whole new range of problems. These could include outbursts, violence, lethargy — or any behavior typically associated with alcohol consumption.

On occasion, a doctor might suggest wine to help deal with bad behavior for a person with Alzheimer’s. Wine can have a calming effect, which could be helpful for an Alzheimer’s patient who is restless, anxious or agitated. Wine also has been known to help people with Alzheimer’s sleep better. But, to reiterate: Always check with a physician before allowing any alcohol consumption.