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What to do next?


Registered User
Feb 7, 2016
I am looking for some advice if possible please. My FIL has alzheimers and has deteriorated very quickly. He still lives at home with my MIL. His wondering is getting out of control now, he goes out several times per day and jumps on buses. We had to call the police last weekend as we couldn't find him and he had missed his medication. He was finally found after many hours walking on the motorway (he has no recollection of this). They are a very private family and refuse any outside help, however his outbursts are becoming more aggressive and I fear for his and my MIL's safety. Can we ask for an assessment without their permission? Thank you

100 miles

Registered User
Apr 16, 2015
Dear Worried DIL

If you fear for his safety, and the wandering on the motorway shows clear grounds for worrying about his safety, you could contact social services and ask to speak to the adult safeguarding team. If they agree that FIL (or MIL) is at risk, they will investigate. I am not clear whether they will withhold their source. I assume you have discussed with their son (your hubby?). Does he take the view that 'it is solely a family matter'? Although I can see that alienating your husband won't improve anything.

Or maybe you can raise the issue of missing medication with his gp, explain that it resulted in motorway wanderings...and muse on whether social services could help. GP might take the hint. Social services will probably talk to his gp as well, so maybe this is the place to start and escalate if needed.

Tricky problem (aren't they all?). Best wishes


Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
Hi Worried, welcome to TP
You can report the situation to social services without their permission.
If you google "reporting an at risk adult" and the name of the health authority or council they come under you should get the contact numbers, e-mails and an outline of what you have to do.
I would report both of them, your FIL because of the risk of him wandering on the motorway (I'm surprised if the police found him they didn't put a report in to social services themselves). From the sound of it your MIL is already a victim of verbal abuse and there exists a risk this could escalate to physical if nothing is done.
Once reported Social Service have to do an assessment and they're usually happy to involve the family (in my experience).
If there are any other close family members I'd discuss it with them.
It's a very big step to take but the only other option is to wait for a "crisis" and that could mean someone getting hurt. So I think you're going to have to do what's in their best interest and make the call.


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
oh my, WorriedDIL
no wonder you are worried
welcome to TP - sadly there are lots of people here who will recognise this situation, at least in some form (my dad wandered, though not so far)
I appreciate that the family are very private - however walking down a motorway is a very public and dangerous action - personally, if this were my relative I would contact Adult Services tomorrow and let them know what has happened - the couple clearly need support however much they don't want others involved - they are both vulnerable and at risk
is it possible to chat with them and explain that getting support now may make it easier for them to stay together in their own home, as I guess they fear being separated - your MIL must be tearing her hair out
maybe you could also contact their GP and let them know of all your concerns - s/he may not be able to discuss anything with you, but will take account of what you tell them - might they be more likely to listen to a doctor?
I wish you all the best