This is my first message


Registered User
Jun 27, 2008
hello everyone,

My sister, aged 75 years, has recently been diagnosed with dementia, possibly Alzheimers. The diagnosis is uncertain as I have received very little information. My sister's GP will not give me any information, rightly so, until my sister gives her permission which she won't do as she thinks there is nothing wrong with her.

I am one of five siblings all living in different areas of England. My two brothers are burying their heads in the sand which leaves my sister and I sorting things out. How do we move on from here? My sister is in the 'system' apparently. What does that mean? She has deteriorated very rapidly and is becoming a danger to herself. I don't know what to do next.


Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Welcome to TP, Thursa. I'm sure you'll find some excellent advice and support here.

What about power of attorney? It sounds like that isn't in place yet and you will been needing it very soon. May I suggest something very devious? Please don't be shocked, sometimes we have to be devious to get things done. Is it possible for you to discuss power of attorney with your sister but put it to her that each sister will have power of attorney for another? You can have power of attorney for her, she can have power of attorney for your other sister, etc.

Which sibling would be most able to persuade your sister to designate a power of attorney? Perhaps that sibling can cajole her into it. I would recommend two power of attorneys also, if possible. It could save a lot of arguments in the future.

If your sister is deteriorating so rapidly, I believe there is a process of becoming a guardian. But you'll have to check there - my experiences in Canada won't help you.

Call the Alzheimer Society help line too.

Good luck.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
My sister is in the 'system' apparently.
Hi Thursa, welcome to TP.

It's a tricky situation when your sister won't admit there is anything wrong, and you don't live on the doorstep.

'In the system' may mean one of two things. One, she has seen a consultant, and is being monitored by the mental health team, or two, that social services are aware and are monitoring the situation. Ideally, she needs to be in both systems.

The GP is not allowed to give you information without consent, but there is nothing to stop you writing to him and explaining how worried you are, and asking him to call your sister in for an MOT, for example. If she has seen a consultant, you could also write to him/her, or even phone his secretary. They're usually very helpful.

The same thing with social services. You can ring and say you think your sister is in danger, and ask for a visit. They could say the GP has asked them to call. They may even let you know when they are going, so that one of you could be present.

And Joanne is right, if at all possible, get a POA in place as soon as possible, as it has to be signed while your sister understands what she is signing.

Don't hesitate to post if you need more information.