advice please


Registered User
Jun 26, 2004
I believe that my grandmother has alzheimers. Her personality is erroding, her housekeeping is poor, her memory is terrible, she struggles to make any decisions herself. She cares for my grandad who is totally dependant on her. I think she may have hit him on a couple of occassions now. She becomes verbally aggressive if any mention of these problems are made and does not acknowledge these problems.

My mother cares for my grandparents and is totally devoted. She too refuses to acknowledge these problems and will only put it down to old age. I think she is scared and thinks if the diagnosis is made my grandparents will go into a home and 'rot'.

My mother now spends almost all of her time with my grandparents and when she isn't with them takes constant phone calls. I worry about the huge strain I see her under.

I want to help but I can't see what I can do. My mother is a strong character and broaching the subject is almost impossible.

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
This is tough for you, and your unsollicited advice may well land on deaf ears at home. Could you perhaps enlist the co-operation of your family GP, or perhaps the community nurse? They may be the best people to start the ball rolling, and hopefully come up with some suggestions for referral and support.
Best wishes. Carmen


Registered User
Apr 19, 2004
This is a really tough situation for you. Before my Dad was diagnosed my Mum was still in denial, putting everything down to old age. I was the one who had to push her to the doctors but I think it was easier for me to be more objective. Your mother may be very fearful of getting a diagnosis for your grandmother. If perhaps she is reassured that she will still retain control of the situation and remain the principle caregiver this may be a way of persuading her to go to the doctors. Your grandmother could be missing out on medication that can really help in the early stages of alzheimer's and delay the worsening effects. If your mother understood that she could be unwittyingly denying your grandmother this help this might force her to take action. You must be strong and not give up.


Registered User
Jun 26, 2004
Two days ago my mother got a call at 3.00am in the morning from my grandad saying that my grandma was trying to smother him. Both grandma and grandad are bruised and scratched.

I thought this would bring things to a head and force my mother to address the problem - get the social services involved and get a proper pyschiatric assessment done. This is what I have adviced her to do.

Instead my mother has again swept the problem under the carpet. She explains the situation as arising mainly due to my grandad (he had a stroke recently and even mum describes him as now having dementia). I believe my grandad when he describes these attacks (they have been happening on and off now for some time). Mum has asked my grandad if he wants grandma to be sent away in a white coat because this is what will happen if this incident is reported. So my grandad has again backed down and now says he fell out of bed.

I am so angry at the situation and my mother with the way she is dealing with it. I feel it is now cruel to let them stay in that house together no matter how much help my mum gives them and no matter how much they say they want to stay together at all costs.

I am very worried and upset. I am considering contacting social service myself but I worry about the terrible effect this could have on my relationship with my mum.

Does anyone reading this with experience of a smiliar situation have any advice?


Registered User
Apr 28, 2003
Hello Saffron
It seems very clear that some sort of illness is causing your grandmother to behave in this way and I can understand your dilemma about what to do. No one knows what is causing her to do what she does and it is essential that she is medically assessed so that she can be diagnosed and appropriately treated.

Sometimes it can help to try to ignore the assumption that someones behaviour is caused by dementia. If we thought say. someone had a broken leg or suspected they had cancer or any other illness we would do our utmost to get them to the doctor.

To be blunt you have a choice - you either do nothing and hope that the situation will resolve itself without anyone getting hurt, or you contact social services and tell them that your grandmother is at risk neglect and of harming herself and at risk of harming others.

I think it's only fair on your grandmother and your grandfather and on yourself that you act in their best interests. You might find it useful to speak to Action on Elder Abuse about this - you can email through their website or phone their confidential helpline: 0808 808 8141