Getting dad to agree to an assessment lying!


Registered User
Jan 9, 2008

Sorry to have to ask this but I really would appreciate some input. Earlier today I spoke to dad's GP. I explained that SS have said since dad has not been formally assessed they are not able to provide "care cover" for "memory issues" whilst I am hopefully away on holiday later this year. The GP has decided that the best way forward is to make an appointment for a memory check. I have mentioned in earlier postings that the GP did make this offer to dad during an earlier visit. He however declined it and stated that there was no need "as my memory is as good as it has ever been and I really don't want to be checked":eek:

Basically the appointment is being sent up but I am haivng real doubts. Is it fair for me to lie to my dad in order to get him to attend this appointment? I have already mentioned on the telephone that the GP needs to do an "MOT" for dad which includes a "memory check - because of his age". I was brought up to be honest whatever the consequences! and I am being anything but that at the moment and it really does bother me. I am so concerned that if I push dad into having this check done then things will snowball and he will always remember that it was me who pushed tfor it in the first place. Dad's attitude can be sumed up as "letting sleeping dogs lie and don't try and fix something which is not broken".

I have spent the last fews hours thinking about what is happening to make me push for this assessment.

1. Me and my young family are planning a holiday in the summer. I can't leave dad alone for so long, so I am reaching out for some help. SS have said that the only way then can provide help with medication is if he is formaly assessed as having "memory problems". If I was not planning to go away there would be no immediate problem.

2. I am really worried that if he has a formal assessment then it is possible that he will no longer be able to drive. My dad will be absolutley distraught if he has his licence taken away from him. He no longer drives any distance and when I was in the car with him a few weeks ago I did not feel that his current memory problems were having a negative effect on his driving. He is still quick to react, drives at a sensible speed and is fully aware of what is happening around him. He has been the first to say that the moment he feels that he is not capable of controlling a manual car properly he will stop driving immediatley.

3. Am I pushing to get dad assessed too early? His current state of mind is that short term memory is poor, but not always. He is not always confused, only sometimes. The thing that is really bothering me is if I make him attend the assessment , will I lose the trust of my dad which has taken over 20 years to build and leave him even more on his own than he is now. Without me, he would not remember to take regular medication, keep doctors appointments, stay in to get his meal on wheels. My dad trusts me and it feels so wrong to lie so that he can be assessed. Obviously if his condition deteriorated then I would feel less quilty about getting him assessed but at the moment, it feels that I am using a sledge hammer to crack a nut.

Whilst I appreciate that what ever I decide to do will be my own choice, I would be grateful to hear others input on the matter.



Registered User
Nov 20, 2006
Being checked by the GP doesn't automatically mean he will lose his license. If the GP considers it a problem more than just old age he will refer to a specialist. It will be them that make a formal diagnosis usually.

The driving thing may be dictated by his insurers though. The Driving part is a huge hurdle to get over, was with my Dad he does seem to have accepted it in the end but it took a while. Initially we told a few white lies to defuse it all.

First visit to the GP I went too, I spoke to the GP first then Dad came in. Dr was very good, did a memory test, 1 out of 10 if he was generous ( My Dad may have been further along ). I have made myself available whenever the Consultant comes out now.

He still lives in denial alot of the time even with recent events..

Personally looking back I think we left it too late to get Dad initially assessed but the best time.... who knows!

Good luck with it whatever you decide.



Registered User
Jul 7, 2007
Hello Burfordthecat,

I really feel for you. Its so awful to start to "get things moving" - it really brings issues most people want to try to ignore to the surface - not that you are ignoring them but its so hard isn't it.

We are far down the road with our Mum who is moving into the later stages of dementia and one of the things we really really wish now is that we'd done some things much sooner- this would have hopefully saved us some real heartache and emergencies . Because our Mum didn't seem to be so bad for a long while, when the crises eventually started coming it was all rush and panic.

I personally would go for the assessment asap - if as you say , your Dad can't be trusted to take his medication , eat meals etc then the only way is down unless you put things in place to ensure his future health and safety now. And I know its an awful thing to say but your Dad won't remember long term that it was you who pushed him into the tests so a little guilt now is better than a lot of heartache later. While your Dad isn't confused all the time you may be able to get some starting care in place - we told our Mum that it was a cleaner/ home help and she was quite "chuffed" that she was posh enough to have one etc ! Appreciate its such a delicate path for you with worries about Dad's trust etc.

I don't think its a "sledgehammer to crack a nut " - its the wise and sensible thing to do - don't let the guilt monster drag you down. You have a young family of your own to look after - and the more planning and thinking you do now the easier it will be in the future (not that its ever easy is it folks?)

Never had the driving problem but there have been lots of others who have and I'm sure they will respond - but if your Dad has got some form of dementia then there will come a time when he will have to stop - not just for his own safety but for the safety of others. I think it will depend on how he does in the tests. Your guilt at stopping him driving will be nothing compared to the guilt if he has an accident where someone else is hurt.

Oh heck - I've just re -read this reply and it seems so much doom and gloom doesn't it. What I really just wanted to say was that a little planning ahead is the best thing you could do and as I'm into trite phrases this morning - it really is "a stitch in time saves nine" !!!!

All the very best to you with whatever you decide



Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Hi Burfordthecat

Please don't feel guilty. It's not really lying, it's just a gentle 'manipulation'!

OK, I hate manipulation too, but it really would be in your father's best interests to be assessed as early as possible, and we've all, or at least most of us, had to resort to manipulation at times.

You have to lok after your family as well as your dad, and it would be unfair to them to deprive them of the fun of a family holiday.

As for driving, John kept his licence for a long time after diagnosis. I was comfortable with his driving, and the consultant was prepared to take my word for it. He had to notify DVLA, but then signed the form that in his opinion John was competent to drive. Of course, he stopped driving as soon as I had doubts.

I'd say go for it, but of course it's your decision.


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello burfordthecat

It is very difficult in the early stages to make what you see as the writing on the wall, official.

My husband failed to keep several appointments before he eventually agreed. Even then he was being treated for depression, rather than memory loss.

I would write to the GP well before the appointment, and tell him/her all your doubts and fears about your father. Ask the GP to treat your letter as confidential, so your father is unaware that you have provided the information.

Better still, if possible, make an appointment to see the GP by yourself before the appointment. This is what I did, and went armed with my diary of all the worrying behaviours.

I know it`s deceitful, but it`s not for your benefit, it`s for your father`s benefit, so I believe it`s justified.

Jodie Lucas

Registered User
Dec 3, 2005
Hi there,

We have had a similair situation with my grandmother in terms of driving. My gran was referred through the memory clinic to an occupational therapist who arranged a driving assessment. my grandmother also had a scan which showed she had vascular dementia. This was done in her own car, and the whole thing takes about an hour or so. As my grandmothers licence was due to expire we sent all the driving assessment papers (she passed) off to the dvla.

Just remember if your father is diagnosed with dementia (or any medical condition), then the dvla have to be informed by law. They may not neccessarily take his licence away, my grandmothers was renewed for one year.

Hope this helps.



Registered User
Jan 9, 2008
Hi Everyone

Thanks again for all the replies. Sylvia, I have already spoken at lengths to dad's GP who is "clued up" on how dad is. The doctor is not planning on doing the memory check herself but referring dad to the hospital where he I guess will have to have the MME. I know that dad's memory is not working properly but what I don't know is what is causing it.

My guilt is that I could make dad take the test and have the assessment done by lying to him, but dad is still in total denial and will not accept anyone telling him that he has any problem. If the assessment does happen and there is a "name" for his condition dad is likely to blame me because I pushed for it. Knowing my father as well as I do, then he is then likely to refuse any support from me either:eek:, because I have been interferring and talking to people about things which should have been left well alone.:( Above everthing the one thing which cannot be allow to be changed is the trust that dad has in me. If that goes the outlook is bleak because there is no-one else to help him.

Having tossed and turned in bed last night, I am now wondering whether I could still manage to support dad by phone whilst I am on holiday. The system seems to be working fine with me 1 hours drive away. Can anyone tell me if there is an organization who I can contact who I could arrnage some sort of "on call" care for dad to visit him at home to help, mainly the simple things eg lost wallet, where I would normally drive to dad's in the evening to sort him out. If I could get this set up then maybe I would not need to have SS involved for dad's care for this holiday.

I appreciate that with something like this, the goal posts are always moving and I would need to decide nearer to the holiday whether I am still OK to leave dad with this set up. Obvioiusly if things have gone down hill quicker than before I would have to re-think the whole plan.

I am going about this the wrong way or has anyone else used this type of setup.

Thanks everyone

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Does your father have a neighbour you could ask. Many neighbours would be more than willing to help, especially short term, but don`t want to offer for fear of being thought nosy.


Registered User
Jan 9, 2008
Hi Sylvia

No, unfortunatley dad lives right out in the country in a beautiful village. Dad does not know his next door neighbour, they have recently moved in (about 2 years ago). Dad is not a very sociable person and prefers to keep himself to himself. It is such a shame that the lady who used to live there died. I'm afraid that these days it seems that everyone lives their lives in the fast lane and the younger generation do no have time or want to help out the elderly. Listen to me, talking about the younger generation I am only in my 40's myself;). Dad does not have any other neighbours on his lane.:(

One good thing is that he now gets meals on wheels (thanks to a referal from the GP) so at least one person will visit him everyday. That is providing he remembers he is getting a hot meal and is in when it is delivered. He does seem to be managing to remember his hot dinner time a bit better now:).


Registered User
Jul 24, 2007
South East London
Hi I am not sure if this is of any help but we had my mil assessed at home by ot first.

Dealing with mums doctor was really hard work so i spoke to him over the phone first about the situation, so on her next appointment with him he could see what i was talking about.

I later spoke to him again and asked for an assessment to be done as soon as possible.Luckliy mil had an assessment at home and i just told her it was someone who was going to help us to get mil anything she was entitled to. As the ot knew that mum was unaware of how bad her forgetfulness was she was able to read between the lines. She did the assesssment there and then just by talking to mil about everyday things.

Whilst doing this even i did not realise that mil was actually being tested.OT then rang me at home that afternoon to explain her results, that she had vascular dementa.Mil scored so low on the test that she felt that mil would not gain anthing by going to the hospital for a memory test.

It was from there that we were all as a family able to realise that mil really had this illness.Yes i do sometimes find it hard to hide this from mil but she ,like others is such a proud woman yet a real worrier too.We knew as did the doctor and OT ,that it would have made mil alot worse.

By being told by someone who knows what they are talking about,makes it easier then for you to deal with the next steps you need to take.

Your not lying you are just protecting some one you love dearly.Like you we are going away this year on holiday.This was origanally a real worry for us but now the ss have put a care package together for mil, it has helped. Don't get me wrong it was very hard for us to get mum to agree to some one coming into her home , she often had a moan about the prospect of it.It has worked a treat so far touch wood, as mil really likes the woman who she says" just pops in for a chat."

Good luck x x x:)

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