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How can I help someone who doesn't want help?


Registered User
Feb 2, 2015
My Aunt s 87 next month and has recently had a diagnosis of Alzheimer's although her family have noticed changes in her for a long while. She has always been very independent and has lived alone for nearly 30 yeas.

She is refusing any help from Social Services or the Falls Clinic and when letters arrived she rang them to cancel and asked why her GP gave her information on dementia "saying why do I need that". Some family members are of the opinion that I should leave her to get on with it and I get the feeling they think I am interfering. She regularly falls inside her home and won't have a pendant alarm so I am genuinely concerned for her safety and anticipate her falling, not being able to get up and just lying there. I have told her this and she just says "oh well".

I feel so helpless because apart from visiting and taking her out I feel there is nothing else I can do. I am sure this I am not the only person who has experienced this.:confused:


Registered User
May 18, 2014
The short answer is, there is nothing you can do except to be with her as much as you can. At least you can be sure that while you are with her she is safe, and if you can make sure her home is relatively free from things she may trip over or bump into. You have to put your health and safety hat on and look at things that may be hazardous to her. Even though my mum lives with me I still cannot guarantee 100% safety because she has no sense of danger, a little example, in the past she has been unable to get out of bed because her feet get tangled in the duvet that hangs over the side, so I am now using a single one which covers the bed and no hang overs. In time she may start to accept outside help.


Registered User
Jan 27, 2014
Unfortunately Tin is right, you cannot force her to go, just be there for her, keep an eye on her, it's all you can do for now hun x


Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
SW London
A pendant alarm might not be much use anyway. People with dementia are all too apt to forget to wear them, or to hide them away, and even if they do wear them, they may well forget what they are for if and when they actually need them.

It is very hard when you know someone could really do with help, but just won't have it. Unfortunately it is very common. If you are seeing her regularly that is worth a good deal, I should think.


Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
It does unfortunately seem to be the case you have to wait for an "event" to trigger things, hopefully that she will realise she needs some support.
Do you have a plan for if this happens? Can she go and live with you, does she have a house, does anyone have POA and lots of other questions like that?
Don't expect the NHS/SS to come in and sort everything out it will be left very much to you and the family. She's done well to live without help at 87, I think you just have to do it carefully so it doesn't sound like a "you can't cope" or "end of life" plan.


Registered User
Nov 7, 2011
It's not just elderly people with dementia who insist everything is all right, when clearly it isn't. I know several oldies without it who are struggling to cope and who are driving their familes mad.

As Kevini suggests, all you can do is have contingency plans in place for when the inevitable crisis occurs and keep your fingers crossed it's not too serious.