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Grandma in denial and refuses to get help for Grandad's possible dementia


Registered User
Feb 14, 2015
I really have no idea what to do. My Grandad has been acting differently for a while and has many symptoms of early dementia. My problem is that my Grandma hides it from the entire family. She controls him, speaks for him and will not let him go to the doctor without her.

Please do not think she is a bad person, she simply doesn't want to accept that he is ill. She believes her own lies and has a reason for all his odd behavior. A couple of months ago he woke up in the middle of the night, she called my aunts and uncles for help. He was delusional, thought that we were all in danger and that the world was going to end that weekend. This is the worst I have seen him, all his other symptoms are milder, but they mainly center on strange thoughts regarding our safety. He is forgetful, but mainly it is changes in behavior such as giving up hobbies (a massive part of his life) which is so difficult to see. He lived for his hobbies and now is always sat quietly in his own little world.

She talks about him like he is not there, moaning. I understand why, I cannot imagine living with someone 24/7, but if we mention it she gets defensive and has even threatened to take an overdose. In her mind she can put all the changes down to old age. The rest of us are convinced it is something more and that it will get worse. No matter how much we plead with her, she finds a way to justify her actions. My Grandad is terrified that she will hurt herself. They love each other very much and are both hurting tremendously.

I worry about both of them and think they both need help. I know it is essential we get help for my Grandad, and we will. Even if it has to be done against my Grandmas will. The whole family are now well aware of the situation.

I love my grandma very much, she practicalky brought me up. In someways dealing with my grandad is easier as we can go to the doctors and get a diagnosis (whatever that may be). But where can we get help for my Grandma? What can we do if she isn't willing to admit something is wrong?

Thank you for reading.

Tears Falling

Registered User
Jul 8, 2013
I don't have any suggestions for you but wanted to reply. You clearly love and have your grandparents best interests in your heart. Have you spoken with your aunt/uncles about the situation. If there is one that is particularly close to your grandparents, maybe they could broach the subject on the family's behalf, to try encourage them to get to the gp and for some help.

I hope you have some additional replies soon to provide better advice.