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Refusing help


Registered User
Jan 13, 2015
My Mother In Law suffered from a minor stroke about 5 years ago and since then she has been progressively deteriorating mentally. She is now significantly aphasic, to the extent that someone who doesn't know her would find it virtually impossible to determine what she is trying to say. She hasn't been definitively diagnosed with dementia but this is in part because she refuses to co-operate with the diagnostic procedure. She refuses to accept that she needs any help but is becoming more and more confused, especially when out of the house on her own.

She is getting to the point where she needs a daily carer. Neither my wife nor her sister are able to provide this level of support themselves. However, in addition to becoming increasingly confused my MIL is also losing her ability to regulate her behaviour with the result that she is becoming increasingly difficult and rude. What she wants is for my wife or her sister to be her live-in carer but that isn't going to happen.

When we raise the possibility of providing a carer she point-blank refuses and protests that she doesn't need one although it is quite clear to us from recent incidents that she does. If we were to provide a carer for her I doubt that the situation would be sustainable because of the unacceptable way she would behave towards that individual. She is increasingly attempting to force herself on my wife and her sister in order to cajole them into looking after her daily needs which they simply can't do, although they both provide as much support as possible.

Has anyone found themselves in a similar position? If so, do you have any suggestions as to how we can approach this difficult situation?



Registered User
Apr 12, 2014
This is a tough one, also known as between a rock and a hard place.

It doesn't sounds like she can be reasoned with, so any ideas of "trying" to get her to see sense, even to save her from leaving her home, isn't going to work.

I can only come up with 2 potentials:

1. Go ahead and try a carer, maybe (just maybe?) she will somehow deal with it
2. If care is refused and won't work at all, you will really need to consider placing her in a safe care home.
3. I just realized the third-if she won't willingly go into a CH, she would be sectioned I imagine.

Sadly none of these are the easier method, and it's difficult all round.

Wishing you the best,


Registered User
Jan 13, 2015
The best advice I got when my mum was just the same was to TRY to remember that it is the disease causing the person you know & love to behave in a totally irrational way. So do what you need to do to make sure they are cared for, however you can do that but you have to reverse the roles of parent/child & take charge. Do seek out assistance from wherever you can; health professionals, books, local groups, etc you should find that there is plenty out there & you will feel better knowing you are not alone & that your relative is being well looked after. Hope this helps.


Registered User
Feb 4, 2015
Hi, I would suggest an alternative route to get your MIL to open up and allow people in the home to support her, I would suggest that you make contact with the local RVS, formally WRVS for a befriender, its an option so that someone could pop in and have a chat, check MIL is ok, I dont think they'll provide and personal care so it would depend on the level of care she requirws, but certainly discuss with them.
best of luck x

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