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My wife's mother has been diagnosed with dementia


Registered User
Oct 2, 2015

My name is Stuart from the UK, and my wifes' 78 year old mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. We had suspected for some time as the conversations were rather difficult and frequently went off at a tangent and often didn't make sense. My wife and I live close to her, but my wifes' brothers all live some distance away and so either can't find the time to keep an eye on their mum, or don't think she needs keeping an eye on. She has several times now been taken home by the police because she forgot where she parked her car, so we think she does warrant some concern.

The reason why I joined this forum is that my wife is finding looking after her mum a real strain and is suffering from depression and has several times threatened suicide as a result, but will not seek help. Also her mother does not think she needs looking after, so they are always arguing over things. This is causing a strain for me as I get it all when she returns. What I am hoping to find is some advice as to how we can find my mother-in-law some care so my wife doesn't have to be the only carer. Sorry for rambling on, and for not using actual names above, but I'm not sure how my wife would react if she knew I was posting here.


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
Good morning Stuart and welcome to TP.

I'm sorry to read about your MIL's diagnosis. It sounds as if your situation is really difficult. Your wife's health is clearly suffering and I understand you wanting to get support for MIL. It's hard that MIL is not accepting that she needs help. I think that a referral to the Social Work Department would be the best way ahead so that her needs could be assessed. I realise that this might be difficult but it might be worth trying to discuss this with your wife.

I wonder if these fact sheets would be of any help to you and your wife -



I know you will get lots of help and support from this forum and wish you well.


Registered User
Jul 29, 2013
North East
Try and point your wife in the direction of here and the Alzheimer's society. There is loads of helpful people out here. I would imagine that advice coming from people out there would be taken better than from you. I'm saying that kindly, just because it is a human nature thing. She will read others stories and see she isn't on her own with this and will pick up many many tips and knowledge simply by reading what others are going through too.
I wish you the very best. Welcome to TP.


Registered User
Oct 2, 2015
We had to have my mum sectioned iinto care the end for her own safety as she refused to accept that she could not cope on her own at home anymore, and was a real danger to herself, so you always have that route open (although I can relive the trauma and her anger of that day still - she obviously has forgotten about it and loves me again!).

In all of this, as many will tell you, it is those who are left to sort out the melee that are the most affected by this awful disease; one word of advise is to make sure that you and your wife look after yourselves - you are no good to anyone if you are too stressed by events.

Like most paths trodden in life, time and hindsight are wonderful to look back with - but to go forward get as much help from the Alzheimers Society as you can, they are wonderful people.



Registered User
Jul 16, 2015
I agree that encouraging your wife to try to understand more about dementia might be the best way to start - I've learnt a lot by reading people's experiences here, and it helps to understand the symptoms, and see people's strategies for coping and trying to help. If your wife can understand she might be able to avoid some of the arguments by approaching things in a different way.

Have you had an assessment from Social Services? Depending on your mother in law's finances, they might be able to help arrange care visits - even if she doesn't qualify for free care, they can help you to understand what might be needed and what type of help is available.