Mum will not see a doctor and in denial!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by salaman, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. salaman

    salaman Registered User

    Jan 10, 2008
    2
    Hi there!

    I'm sure some of you have had similar problems with trying to get a relative to see a doctor with memory problems.

    Basically my Mum has very bad short-term memory problems that have worsened considerably over the last six months. She has all the classic signs of Dementia/AD in my opinion such as misplacing things and repeating herself. She is not keen on leaving the house at all now and if she does follows my Dad in his shadow. She has also lost interest in things she enjoyed doing like cooking and baking etc.

    My Dad is still fully lucid and lives with her but he is becoming increasingly frustrated and annoyed with her behaviour – he’s not the most patient of men. He has asked her to go to the Doctors’ several times but she refuses. After ignoring her behaviour for some years (probably too long) I decided to take a more active involvement and sit down with my parents and tell her she has a problems and to please see a doctor for everybody’s sake. This just resulted in a big argument with my Mum blaming my Dad for ‘muddling her brain’.

    The outset is she still refuses to see her Doctor and stubbornly refuses to admit she has problems. I also brought up attendance allowance and the fact that I could get her a cleaner or other help with it – but she still thinks she is looking after my Dad and would rather do the cleaning herself so it’s done ‘properly’ even though the cleanliness of the house is visibly deteriorating. Attendance allowance is for old, infirm people in her opinion but I think my Dad is not far off being a carer and she would have a good chance of receiving it.

    If anything happened to my Dad first then I really cannot see her being able to live on her own as she has no idea about drawing her pension and other financial stuff – we have EPA’S in place.

    Two questions – I refuse to give up and know there are drugs and other help she could be getting so I need to get a doctor to see her. Her doctor says she needs to come voluntarily so what else can I do?

    Can I apply for attendance allowance against her wishes and without her signing anything or being diagnosed?

    Many thanks!!
     
  2. clarethebear

    clarethebear Registered User

    Oct 16, 2007
    197
    manchester, uk
    Hi Salaman

    Welcome to TP.

    At first my Nanna refused to see she had a problem. My Nanna had a great doctor that came out to her, I do understand that some doctors won't do this.

    I do know that some of the others who use this site have had the same problem you are having now, I'm sure they will be along soon to help you out.

    Take care
    Clare
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,586
    Kent
    Hello salaman.

    Your mother probably refuses to see a doctor because she is frightened of what s/he might say. Oncoming dementia must be one of the most frighteneing illnesses there is.

    I can only suggest you and your father are as supportive as possible to make her feel as secure as you can. Keep a diary of her behaviours and ask you father to see their GP by himself. He can discuss your mother`s condition with the GP and perhaps ask for an appointment to be made for a check up, just to get her to the surgery.

    Your mother will be able to apply for Attendance Allowance once she has a diagnosis.
     
  4. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    I would query what this GP knows about dementia - sorry. Many people are loathe to consult a doctor when they cognitively sound ...... and that is their choice ..... there have been a few ideas on the forum recently about 'engineering' GP home visits under a different pretext other than the memory loss issue ....

    Another avenue to explore may be to bypass the GP at this stage and contact social services ... it sounds like both mum and dad could use whatever support they may be able to offer .... and they could work as advocates in securing medical attention .....

    [QUOTE Grannie G:]Your mother will be able to apply for Attendance Allowance once she has a diagnosis. [/QUOTE]

    AA does not require a definitive diagnosis ..... of dementia or any other reason for impaired independence ..... the caveat being the application has to be validated by a medic - which leaves you in a bit of a Catch 22 at the moment...... :(

    You don't mention the age of your parents, but you could contact local support (e.g. Age Concern, Carer's groups etc). Sounds like your dad is in need of some support, too.

    Good luck, let us know how things go,

    Love, Karen, x
     
  5. burfordthecat

    burfordthecat Registered User

    Jan 9, 2008
    1,707
    Female
    Leicestershire
    Hi Salaman

    I am having exactly the same problem with my dad. He has short term memory loss and is showing all the signs of AD. Are your parents managing to cook hot meals for themselves? I used this route to get SS involved with my dad's situation. I am not sure how much help they might be but it could be worth a try.

    It is so frustrating that without consent a "memory assessment" can't be made, but without it there is limited help. Dementia is a cruel - for everyone concerned.

    Is your dad aware that your mum has a problem or is he in denial as well?

    We're in the same boat! Keep posting and let me know how things go

    Burfordthecat
     
  6. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Salaman

    I decided to take a more active involvement and sit down with my parents and tell her she has a problems and to please see a doctor for everybody’s sake. This just resulted in a big argument with my Mum blaming my Dad for ‘muddling her brain’.

    It is quite common for someone with dementia to have no insight at all into their problems, with that in mind, why would they want to seek medical attention. This was certainly the case with my own mother.

    I think also as carers we want to make things better, I know I am guilty of that one. But I have also found over the years that its sometimes best to back off a little, the more I corrected mum, or tried to push her into doing something she didnt want to, the worse the situation became. Close your eyes to things 'slipping' in the housework department for a while, in the wider scheme of things its a small part of a bigger picture.

    Try asking for the doctor to make a home visit, maybe on the pretex that he just hasnt seen mum for a while, and has a responsibility to check on her. Once that is done, he/she can then refer to a Consultant Psychiatrist who will carry out a full assessment, and who will have a team of Community Psychiatric Nurses who can also become involved. Once the assessment is completed maybe mum will be offered a place at a Day Centre to give your dad a break, or help in the home.

    Best wishes.

    Cate xx
     
  7. forgetmenot

    forgetmenot Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    25
    London
    mum in denial

    my mother lived on her own and she was in denial - it took me a long time to get my mother diagnosed because she thought there was nothing wrong with her. I wrote to the doctor, visited the doctor, my aunts all so were contacting the doctor. In the end I did a self referral to social services because I was afraid for her safety. She often went out of the house and no one knew where she was for hours she walked the streets and got lost many times. In the end got on the hard shoulder of a motorway. Then the doctor believed me. Please make a referral yourself. It is worth it, she may be angry but she will forget with the dementia. It is in her best interest.

    forgetmenot


     
  8. salaman

    salaman Registered User

    Jan 10, 2008
    2
    Many thanks for your comments - I have learnt so much from reading this forum in the last couple of days! :) Some of you have it pretty rough don't you??

    My Dad is 79 and my Mum 75 - My Dad is aware of her symptoms but has little understanding or interest in the whole dementia issue which doesn't help. He brought up her condition and symptoms to her Doctor last week but the Dr's comments were it was 'normal due to old age' which really wound me up as it's way beyond 'normal' in my opinion. Unfortunately my Dad just accepted that as he is not argumentative in the slightest.

    I've not seen my Mum since we brought everything out in the open but I know next time I go round it will be like nothing has happened and it will have been all brushed under the carpet.

    I think my next stage is to write a letter to the Doctor and express my concerns and see where this leads.

    Some of the symptoms others have described are horrendous and my heart goes out to you. I'd be interested in timescales of these symptoms occuring after the short term memory /forgetfulness and lack of drive stages I'm at now. I appreciate everybody is probably different but it could help prepare us for the rocky road we seem to be on now.

    Take Care
     
  9. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Hi Salaman,it took a while before i got the GP to see dad for his memory problems.I wrote a letter to her and she saw him as a routine apointment.A referral was sent to the memory clinic and the consultant came on a Saturday morning!As for attendance allowance,i asked the occupational therapist to visit mum and dad.There were some adaptations made to their home for mobility purposes.She asked if A.A had been applied for.I said that we were at that time waiting for dad to be diagnosed.She said to do it and than let the DWP know when dad was diagnosed.We did and they are now recieving the benefits they are entitled to.
    love elainex
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.