Dads refusal to attend doctor or admit he has problems

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by woodbrooklabs, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. woodbrooklabs

    woodbrooklabs Registered User

    Aug 17, 2015
    Hi, my dad as far as I'm aware has had dementia for about 7 years with things getting a lot worse in the last 2 years. He is still living alone and able to feed himself and still has good personal care etc. His house is a tip with a lot of hoarding. He doesn't like the mess but can't seem to tackle it or accept my help. He was a taxi driver until he had an accident 2 years ago and his car was a right off. He has now got another car which is very worrying. He is accusing me of stealing the the deeds of his house, accused his sister of stealing £4000. He is paranoid about his neighbours and well everyone really! The things he comes up with are getting more and more peculiar. Like, he thinks his neighbour injected something into his windows to make them go misty.

    I am concerned for his own safety and his sisters for who he really seems to have it in for. She herself is vulnerable and now won't answer the phone, door and will hardly leave her home because of the torture my dad has caused her. He may be forgetful etc, but he knows I will stand up to him more than his sister, so he picks on her.

    He point blankly refuses that there is anything wrong and believes everyone is out to get him. Have spoken to the doctor who has said he can do nothing unless I get dad to his surgery, its never going to happen. Also spoke to social worker who can step in if they believe he is a danger to himself or others. Really had hoped it wouldn't come to this.

    Has anyone any advise to offer as to how I can get him to attend the doctor. If it involves a wee white lie or 2 then so be it. I can't have it on my conscience if he hurts himself or someone else.

    Desperate for any advice.

  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Oh my, I recognise all those symptoms - and, warnings, the stories will get a whole lot stranger too.

    Would your GP be willing to invite him to a "general check up" of the sort that they "routinely give to older people" ;);) ie so that your dad doesnt know why he is going. Perhaps your dad is more likely to go to the appointment that way.
  3. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    What about booking him a fire safety check with your local fire service? If they see anything of concern they can refer your dad to social services or the GP, and somebody will have to come out and check on him.

    A fire safety check is not connected with doctors hospitals or mental health in most people's minds, so people dob't object to it.

    Other than that, you could try a different GP in the practice maybe? Or use the magic words "vulnerable adult" and "duty of care" to get them to send someone out from the local mental health team for an assessment.

    You can also ring your local adult services and ask them to send someone out for a mental health assessment using the same magic words.

    You could also tell the police that he is frightening and harassing his sister and they would refer him for a mental health assessment. And probably refer his sister for help too.

    The GP is talking balls when they say that if you can't get him into the surgery nothing can be done.
  4. woodbrooklabs

    woodbrooklabs Registered User

    Aug 17, 2015
    Thanks Canary and Jaygun.

    I had a hard time 2 years ago getting him to go to the doctor with a shoulder injury due to an accident never mind just going for a run of the mill check up. But yes, when I finally get hold of him on one of his 4, yes 4 phones, I am going to say the doctor phoned me about a routine check up. I told him before when I was trying to get him to go that his doctor had my number as I'm next of kin. I did discuss this all with his doctor 2 years ago and when dad did go, the doctor did absolutely nothing only give him painkillers! The doctor himself is extremely unhelpful and abrupt when I have spoken to him. I spoke with a different 'on call' doctor on Fri who spoke with dads doctor. They asked me to get him into the surgery. When I asked what if that fails, they said, 'we'll cross that bridge when we come to it'. I spoke with a social worker this morning who was much more understanding and took my concerns seriously. She said the doctor has a duty of care to do a home visit if dad refuses to go to the surgery. So now I am waiting to get a chat with him then decide on my next plan of action.

    The fire check idea sounds great, and may be worth a go. Though knowing dad, he won't open the door due to his suspicious mind.

    Definitely with him drinking and now having a car and a temper, he IS a great risk to himself and others. I've googled my predicament so many times and the general idea is to wait until something significant happens so then the relevant authority must act. I don't however want to wait until someone gets hurt. His sister is the vulnerable one. The fact that he has gone to her church ranting and raving during the service and been seen outside it during the day in his car is worrying.

    He will hate me forever, but action needs taken now before its too late.

    Thank you both for your help
  5. woodbrooklabs

    woodbrooklabs Registered User

    Aug 17, 2015
    Minute Success!

    Well Dads doctor rang me this morning to say he has made an appointment for a check up this Tuesday:):):) which has been a 2 year battle to get him to go.

    No I just have to make sure he goes :rolleyes:
  6. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    Hooray! Now just keep your fingers crossed till you've actually got his ass through that doctor's surgery door!

  7. woodbrooklabs

    woodbrooklabs Registered User

    Aug 17, 2015

    Oh I know. I still have to tell him that I know he has made the appointment as the info won't be forthcoming. Then it will be the little white lies again and lots of phonecalls between now and Tuesday. I've told him he might have a vitamin deficiency and he needs a blood test to get things checked. Then the doctor will slip in a wee memory test. I hate lying or bending the truth, but needs must.:)
  8. Mannie

    Mannie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    Bracknell area
    Yes this is very difficult but you have to do it because you are helping and it is his dementia which prevents him from understanding and possibly fear as well, but the sooner the better.

    What you will also find is that it is difficult to speak with the doctor while you dad is present. With that in mind I would prepare a written letter to the doctor which describes his behaviour. For example I'd he is not cleaning the house then likely he is not cleaning other things such as himself, his teeth. This is a health risk.

    The fact he is accusing you , his neighbours and his sister is a typical sign of dementia sufferer trying to make sense of the world.

    You could also ask the doctor for a follow up phone call, because it is difficult for you.

    The doctor does not sound very helpful, so request an appt with different doctor in the same practice, if this trip is unhelpful, just do not put up with unhelpfulness from the GP
    Even though he is registered with a particular doctor he can visit a different one at the same practice it is quite normal.
  9. woodbrooklabs

    woodbrooklabs Registered User

    Aug 17, 2015

    Hi Mannie, many thanks for your reply. I love hearing any information or advice that might help me on this journey. I first spoke to Dads doctor 2 years ago about concerns I had and possible dementia. To say he was unhelpful is an understatement. This time I was determined to make him listen, as these last 7 months, dad has got worse. I typed out a 3 page letter and posted it recorded delivery to the doctor and a copy to social worker assigned to the case (even though no diagnosis yet). Social worker was very helpful and agreed that sending the letter might make the doctor sit up and listen. Doctor rang me and after being a bit abrupt he did talk to me at length on the phone. In the end we both agreed that trying to get dad to the surgery willingly was the best course of action. If that failed then he would consider a home visit. So his lovely receptionist rang me on Monday this week and said she would keep ringing dad asking him to call in for a check up. Between me badgering dad and her, he finally agreed. His own doctor is on holiday next week so dad will be seeing a lady doctor, which I'm not sure if he knows this or will like. But I think its a good thing. I know its only a tiny step him visiting the doctor but for me, its humungous!

    Thanks again Mannie.x

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