Audrey’s Abbeycare Experience


Audrey, a seventy-year-old mother of four with ten grandchildren came to Abbeycare – Scotland’s only specialist alcohol rehab – because of her alcohol dependence and when all seemed lost for her. “My health was failing. I was in rather abad way. I was unable to care for myself and was in a deep, dark depression. I never cared about myself or anyone else.All I did was drink gin and red wine. I never ate, I had no resolve and, really, was just waiting and wanting to die I suppose.Looking back now, I was quite unwell and had no self control whatsoever – it seems like another person really.”

Audrey’s family

Audrey’s family were at their wits’ end trying to get her to look after herself and stop drinking. The whole family was becoming unwell due to the stress, sadness and helplessness they felt. Audrey’s son, Peter, told us: “I really didn’t know how to help her. We had tried everything. Mum moved in with us for a while but was causing all sorts of problems because of her drinking. We couldn’t even let her look after her own grandchildren for short spells – she couldn’t look after herself. It was torrid and we were stuck. I just didn’t know what to do and it was tearing me apart inside. Why was mum doing this to herself? Was it depression because she was drinking or was she drinking because she was depressed? I was completely helpless. This lady brought me up and was always there for us. Now, in her time of need, I had no answer.”

Reaching out for help

Peter called Abbeycare and was reassured that there was a solution. Staff visited Audrey and suggested she spend some time in Abbeycare to get looked after, get well and rekindle her lost spark. Audrey said: “I went to the rehab in Ayrshire and was surprised by the place. It wasn’t what I expected and I was very impressed. People think rehabs are all white walls and confinement but it really was a relaxing and comfortable environment. The food was lovely and all the staff knew their stuff .” Once Audrey was in treatment at Abbeycare and weaned off alcohol, she bloomed. She attended group therapy, stress management workshops and had one-to-one sessions with her own support worker. Her children also attended Abbeycare’s family support programme.

A life turned around

In no time at all, Audrey’s memory improved, her appetite returned and – with the advice of their specialist dietitian – she returned to a tailored healthy lifestyle and diet. She was encouraged to re-connect with life in the form of recovery groups and continue her walking, swimming and holistic therapies that she started in Abbeycare. Audrey has since acquired a pet spaniel, Pepper, for exercise and companionship. Peter said: “Mum has rebuilt her life in such a short time and has made new friends, all of whom are abstinent. She is really happy being sober. She’s living a full life now and the kids love having their Gran back. It’s hard to comprehend how ill she was just a few weeks ago.”


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