Mother in denial refusing help

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Melanne, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Melanne

    Melanne Registered User

    Jun 24, 2008
    My mother is 83 and has reasonably advanced alzheimers in a small country town in Australia.
    She knows she has bad memory loss and mostly it doesn't seem to bother her plus she tries to hide from me how bad it is. She has a good friend who has helped her constantly (as I live a days travel by plane then 4 hrs drive away)
    She is absolutely adamant that she will never move from her home and hates any mention of residential aged care
    She has been assessed by health authroities and a geriatric specialist as needing a 'care package' to enable her to stay living by herself.
    I organised for the service to call at her house and she refused the service saying she is fine.
    She is now too much for her friend to cope with.
    She isn't eating properly because she can't think what to buy. She seems to live on icecream, forgets her daily medication, doctors appointments, grandchildrens names, etc etc and has bouts of aggression and paranoia.
    She gets very confused and imagines that someone is coming to the house when no appointment has been made (or the person doesn't exist)
    She has previously accussed home help of stealing from her.

    She also has very confused long term memory and some major parts of her life are completely gone. Although she thinks her long term memory is great I know the things she says are incorrect.
    She really is not coping in her own home and her friend can't keep up the responsibility. She doesn't understand how bad she is. Doesn't realise she is phoning the same person 9 times in one night.

    Questions -
    I need to talk to her and explain that she needs the community care service. Do I tell her she has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and explain that she needs the extra help and that she will need to move to aged accommodation at some stage?

    I have power of attorney and guardianship for her but if I force her to have the help in the house she will hate me and the service providers.

    I don't know how to convince her to accept the help she needs. If I say it is too much for her friend she will turn on the friend. She has already turned on 5-6 local people who had previously helped her.

    If she does agree to sign up for the help she will immediately forget and refuse their entry the next day.

    Also she has on Aricept since March and her memory has declined hugely since then. It has had no effect at all. Can it have a negative effect on memory and mood?

    Any advice please??
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #2 Margarita, Jun 24, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
    All I know is that what your explaining about your mother behaviors is just like how my mother was in excepting any help even from me, even when living alone after my father pass away she would only except help in someone cleaning the house & they would be days that she would not answer the door to them .

    Sounds just like a plan simple symptom of a dementia, also depending what your mother personality was like before dementia as in if your mother was a person that was dependent on no one but herself, it can make the dementia seem worse in getting her to see the logic of excepting help .

    Then people with dementia do lose the logic thinking that you end up in a no win situation .

    Your mother does have a right to know she has AZ, but only you know what state of mind your mother is in , would it be to distressing for her if you told her she had AZ ?

    why not say that if she does not except help she end up in a care home ( that what I said to my mother ) she went mad at me , but did except the help at the end because I would not let it drop till she did .

    If your mother lost insight into her own behavior towards other people , she may not be able to take it in they they anything wrong with her

    so it come across to you as denial , when really its just down to your mother having days of no awareness insight into her own mental health.


    if you have the authority to get the care packet in place just go for it even if you feel your mother will hate you , at lest you know your doing it because you love her want to keep her safe that all that matter really .
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Melanne, welcome to TP.

    I'd steer clear of talking about moving at this stage. You need your mum to be co-operative, and I suspect she'd did her heels in at any mention of residential care.

    It might also be better not to mention AD, unless you think she could accept it. Why not say you're worried about the fact that she's not eating properly, and perhaps not taking her medication, and you'd like her to have someone in to see that she's OK? Tell her it's for your sake, you're so worried about her you're not sleeping?

    I've never heard of Aricept making the memory worse, though it can have side effects.

    Are you sure your mum is taking them? If she is, it could be that her illness is progressing quickly just now. Could you arrange to talk to her consultant? She should really be checked if she is deteriorating so quickly.

    Could she have an infection? UTI can cause increased confusion, and is quite common in the later stages.

    I hope you manage to get something sorted out.

    All the best,
  4. Bobs

    Bobs Registered User

    Jun 19, 2008
    You are having the same problem as I am. My mother had recently died and it was while she was in hospital we realised my Dad needed help. I live in France so flew back and organised carers three times a day but I am doing the washing and shopping. We have tried to persuade him to go into a home but all I get is abuse and threats. I have told Social Services I need to go back home, I have been here 11 weeks. All they could say was that he had the mental capabilty to make the decision not to go into a home so "leave him to get on with it".He cannot do anthing for himself- not even make a sandwich.

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