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Mother in law diagnosis


New member
May 18, 2022
Hi, my partners step-mom is definitely showing all the signs of dementia. She's very forgetful, where i can tell her something and within less than 5 minutes she has forgotten and asked me again. She's very disorientated all the time, withdrawn from any social activities, forgets where her husband has gone even though she's just spoken to him on the phone. She keeps asking when he is going to pick her mum up who died 25+ years ago. Those are just some examples.

However she is refusing to admit she has a problem, and when the subject is brought up she gets incredibly angry with my father in law. Its really getting him down and i really want to help him get her to the doctors but she wont go. He has spoken to her GP and without her voluntarily going in he wont do anything. Which she of course wont.

Is there any advice anyone can offer on getting more support from the doctors? Without physically cuffing her and dragging her in my father in law wont be able to get her i voluntarily.


Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
N Ireland
Hello @Jess1994 and welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for information and support.

As you are aware, the best thing to do in this situation is have a chat with your GP. Many treatable conditions, such as depression, stress, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies etc., can cause dementia like symptoms so it's important to have a check-up. Please don't cause additional stress by jumping to the immediate conclusion that it's dementia. On the other hand, if it is dementia then a diagnosis may open up support for you.

Here is a link to a Society Fact sheet about the diagnosis issue. Just click the second line to read or print the document

Assessment and diagnosis (426)
PDF printable version

What you describe is, unfortunately, all too common but it is important to get a diagnosis as that may open up medication and care that you will all need if this continues for long.

When it comes to getting a parent to the GP it is sometimes useful to contact the Dr with details of all concerns and behaviours and then collude with the GP about getting your mother called in on the pretext of a check-up of some sort. Sometimes the older generation will obey the GP, even when family are being refused. Of course, it's always possible that something other than dementia is causing the issues and a cure may be available for that.

Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.