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Mother-in-law in denial

SadieR

New member
May 16, 2022
1
0
Hi,

Our family were growing increasingly worried about my mother-in-law who is 82. Our GP persuaded her to undertake an assessment which confirmed our suspicions. Unfortunately, she is not accepting this. Thinks the doctor is a liar and has torn up her referral to the memory clinic. We are at a loss where to go next with this. She refuses to discuss this and there is nothing in place despite the family's efforts.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
3,295
0
Hi @SadieR This is all quite normal and many of us have experienced similar. My dad never accepted his diagnosis so I never mentioned it again. He did however accept that his memory was not what it used to be and that it is to be expected as you get older, just like everyone else of his age. None of the doctors knew what they were talking about but he was always polite with them and agreed with everything they said, until we were out the door.

Don't discuss it with her because she will just get angry and upset because she knows that she is right, it's in her head and you can't change her mind once it's in there. She is not being stubborn or in denial, she knows for a fact that she is right and you are wrong or even worse, you are making it up to annoy her. It's a really tricky thing to get your head around but that is how it is.

I soon learned not to tell dad in advance about any appointments because he would worry himself silly and make any excuse not to go. Instead I would spring it on him on the day making sure that we had time to get ready before we left. I would tell him that the doctor had just rung and he would like to see dad for a check up and off we would go. Dad would moan and I would say that the doctor needed to see dad once in a while because of his age and that we would go and get something to eat afterwards, a bit like an outing. It usually worked.

There is a link on here called Compassionate Communication or something similar, I am not sure how to find it but I am sure someone else will find it and add it to this thread for you, I found it very helpful and it probably saved me lots of arguments and a lot of stress.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
4,854
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @SadieR This is the link to the compassionate communication thread @Duggies-girl mentioned. I found it useful with my mother, whose reaction to the possibility was very similar to your mother in law's. However don't beat yourself up if you can't always manage to use it.
If you know when the referal is you could try to get her there by subterfuge. That's what my brother and I did with our mum. It didn't work as the nurse wasn't exactly friendly and mum refused to have anything to do with the process. After she had a spectacular melt-down in the doctor's surgery they arranged for a psychiatrist to go and see her at home un-announced. Maybe you could talk to the GP about other ways you can get a diagnosis and the help your MiL needs.

Edited to add the link.
 
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Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
980
0
 

taliahad

Registered User
Nov 22, 2021
60
0
There is a really good book called Contented Dementia by Oliver James, might be worth a read.
 

g12AFH

Registered User
May 17, 2022
10
0
Sounds very familiar to my mother. We don't know what type of dementia she has. She doesn't recognise that she has the condition and my father hasn't been able to get anything more specific from the GP because my mum doesn't want to play ball.
 

Daisy daisy

New member
Dec 13, 2019
2
0
It is so common that the dementia sufferer is in denial. Into used subterfuge to get Mum to go for tests etc. She always told us that she passed with flying colours! Now she has been in full time care for over three years she tells me that some of her co residents are gaga and that it's a good job she has all her marbles!! So I would say she is still in denial.
 

JD55

New member
Mar 10, 2022
5
0
Hi,

Our family were growing increasingly worried about my mother-in-law who is 82. Our GP persuaded her to undertake an assessment which confirmed our suspicions. Unfortunately, she is not accepting this. Thinks the doctor is a liar and has torn up her referral to the memory clinic. We are at a loss where to go next with this. She refuses to discuss this and there is nothing in place despite the family's efforts.
My mother is 91 , has had dementia 3 years but has got really bad now but she still denies having it , her gp advised me me to get power of attorney last year before she got too bad and I am glad I did as she can’t do anything for herself now or make decisions but I now have the power to do it for her , it makes things easier .