My wife's stepfather in denial

random human 2012

New member
Aug 30, 2023
My wife and her mother are very close and her (unmarriedl partner 68 of 30+ years has started to show multiple symptoms.
Forgetting where he's put things
Generally disinterested
Mood swings
Generally not with it.
Unfortunately he is in vehement denial that he has a problem and refuses to see a doctor.
Does anyone have a strategy to get him to attend, maybe using a bit of subterfuge if necessary.
He really isn't a shadow of himself and we are all very worried.
Thanks in advance

try again

Registered User
Jun 21, 2018
Email doctor with a list of concerns and ask if he can be seen 'for a health check up'. If possible have someone with him. Perhaps both could attend as a joint check up 😉


Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
Hi @ralphdans and welcome to our supportive and friendly community of people who have experience of many aspects of dementia. You can ask questions or raise issues, join in with existing conversations (threads), find solace in sharing with people who really understand, come here to let off steam and - as you have found already - get helpful suggestions and ideas.


New member
Sep 3, 2023
We are facing a similar issue. My mom is 82 and has been progressively showing signs of memory problems. Misplaced items, forgotten conversations during the conversation- asking the same thing multiple times, not knowing what day it is, forgetting how to operate appliances, misplacing and losing money. I did go to the GP with her a year ago and the doctor wanted to do further testing for identification of what was happening, and Mom kept canceling her appointment. It has progressed a lot over the year and yet when I try to talk with her about going back to the doctor she gets very upset and denies the problems. She thinks I’m saying she’s not doing a good job in managing her daily life. Her friends and other family members are noticing the issues and call me to express concerns. I’m not sure how to help her without overstepping, in terms of calling her doctor myself. She will not consent to me doing this. Any ideas for how to help and keep her safe in her home would be so appreciated.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Welcome @SMarkus
She will not consent to me doing this.
Sometimes we have to act without consent in the best interests of the person who is causing concern.

If you can keep a diary for a couple of weeks to note the frequency of worrying incidents the doctor will take it in confidence and hopefully know what further action is necessary. .


New member
Feb 1, 2023
I also have the same issue.

My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 7 years ago; she was 76 at the time. She was prescribed Donepezil to slow down the advancement of the condition, which I must say has worked to some degree.

My problem is that she is in total denial, and will not accept that there is anything wrong with her.

She will not have any outside help. She is now at the stage where she is refusing to bathe or wash her hair, or change her clothes on a regular basis.

I am 79, and finding it hard. Her constant asking “what day is it” or “What time is it” is wearing me down.

What can I do to get her to accept help?

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello @Osborne11 Welcome.

When my husband rejected any suggestions for help I insisted he allowed me to get help with housework because I couldn`t manage.

I contacted a local care company and explained the situation and a wonderful carer with experience of dementia.

From day one she suggested I go out and leave my husband with her. I told him I was embarrassed to sit and do nothing while someone cleaned for me and if he would stay and make sure she did everything necessary I would get some shopping in.

It worked.

I was then able to have the free time I needed.

Do you think something like this would work with your wife.

I would stop mentioning your wife`s difficulties and put all the weight of not managing on yourself.

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