It can be difficult if your family member or someone you are the caregiver for to has a drinking problem. However, families and caregivers can play an important role in supporting people who abuse alcohol and help them to remain alcohol-free after treatment. If you care for someone with an alcohol problem, a GP or other care professional should ask them whether they want you to get involved in their care.
If your family members or friends agree, you should be given information about alcohol abuse and how you can support them during treatment. For example, you might be able to support them when they take medication and you may also be involved in their mental care. However, staff should adhere to confidentiality if they do not want to have other people involved in their treatment, or prefer some details be kept private.
As a caregiver or relative, you might benefit from support for yourself. You should be asked about the effects of problem drinking on you and other family members (including children and their education and relationships). They must provide advice and information about it. Anyone with a caring role has a right to this information as a carer. For more information on Korsakoff Syndrome and care, visit a site like ARBD Care, a provider of care services for Korsakoff Syndrome.
Care staff should ask about your needs and those of other family members and should offer services to help. These may include:
providing self-help materials
support groups, such as self-help groups specifically for families and caregivers of people with drinking problems.
If this does not help, you may be offered family meetings to:
provide more information and education about problem drinking
help you to identify the type of stress associated with problem drinking
help you to develop ways of coping.