Will not visit the Doctors

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Captain Rothwel, May 5, 2015.

  1. Captain Rothwel

    Captain Rothwel Registered User

    May 5, 2015
    Rothwell Leeds
    we suspect that our Mother has DLB and has been deteriating for some months. However she point blank refuses to visit the Doctors and our Dad is remaining non-committal and letting her get out of going to the Doctors.
    Any suggestions how we might try to persuade our Mum and Dad?
  2. loveahug

    loveahug Registered User

    Nov 28, 2012
    Moved to Leicester
    Hello and welcome to TP. May I suggest you write to the doctor with your concerns and some examples of behaviour which points you to your diagnosis and ask the doctor to call mum in for a 'well woman' check?

    Best wishes
  3. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    My mum wouldn't go to the doctors either but in the end we insisted on a home visit. She consequently did go after that visit as we said the dr needed her to have blood tests etc. We very much played on the fact that the dr said you must have this done after she made the effort to come to see you. It worked most of the time. The mental health team also visited her at home.
  4. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    yes mum says she is house bound, and if they want to see here, then she will see them, she will not go to them
  5. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Hello, Captain, and welcome to TP.

    I wanted to echo the previous suggestions of either arranging a home visit, if that's possible in your situation, or writing to the GP with an account of behaviour/issues/concerns. Others here have reported that their family member was amenable to following "doctor's orders" (and indeed, my own mother, with dementia, would mostly do what the doctor said).

    One of the reasons this sometimes works for some people (note disclaimers!) is that when the person is resistant to doing what family members ask, putting the burden on a third party or outside person is often helpful. In a workshop I went to they phrased it as, consider not only the message that has to be delivered, but also the messenger and then further stated that with a parent, often the adult child is NOT the right messenger.

    Also for many people, "the doctor" retains some clout as a perceived authority figure. If I asked my mother to go for a test or appointment, for example, she would refuse and get upset, but if "the doctor" told her, she would comply. Whatever worked. So I would have conversations with her GP before and after appointments, and we would discuss what needed to be done, or he'd let me know what he would be discussing with her in the next appointment (this was with her permission).

    We also used the doctor as the messenger. For example, me telling her she couldn't drive any longer was not going to be good, so the doctor was the one to deliver that news (his idea, bless him). Every time she would bring up how she still wanted to drive and would try to blame me, I would say, I know you like to drive to the shops and feel you can still drive safely. However, the doctor says no driving for right now. Well, when can I drive again? When the doctor says it's okay.

    So that was probably more than you needed to know about my mother; sorry! I just wanted to give an example of how a helpful GP can make some things easier, for instance, if your mum needs some testing done or an assessment or a memory clinic appointment or whatever. You don't have to be the one to say that has to happen! Or if she asks you why she has to have whatever appointment, you can say, I don't know, Mum, but the doctor said we need to do this. A lot of people with dementia claim there is nothing wrong with them, that they're fine (when they are clearly not) and that can make it difficult to talk about things like doctors appointments, because for them, there isn't any reason to go. My mother would get agitated about appointments unless they were framed as "a routine check" or "the doctor has to see me every so often or he can't prescribe my medicine" or something similar.

    Best of luck to you, and if you get a chance, please let us know how you get on. There's a lot of good information and support available here on TP.
  6. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    Do you know Amy, mother is like that if a Doctor or a man in authority tells her something she does, if it is sis or me.......she gets a second opinion
  7. Risa

    Risa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    Hi Capt

    Having been in the same position, what worked for me was constantly pointing out to my Dad how vulnerable Mum would be if anything happened to him and she was left undiagnosed. Also that Mum was missing out on treatment and they were both entitled to claim financial assistance (attendance allowance and carers allowance). The final nag was that if Mum was on her own and undiagnosed, it would take considerable time to sort things out and this would be very hard on my sister and myself to deal with plus working full-time and caring for Mum. Dad finally saw our side and booked them both in for a memory test with the GP. He didn't tell Mum until the day (not that Mum would have remembered) and when they went there, told Mum it was a standard test that had to be done "at their age". Mum could only answer 1 question correctly and will go to the Memory Clinic next month. It took 3 months to get that appointment so the sooner your Mum can see the GP the better.

    Good luck and I hope you can talk your Dad around.
  8. its a struggle

    its a struggle Registered User

    Oh how I wish MIL believed the medics!!!

    Quite the opposite for us I'm afraid. My MIL had made a career of knowing more than the Doctor. She has self medicated for years and often decides that she will not take her prescribed medicines; most recently disposing of the 'not wanted' tablets in the household rubbish:eek:
    PS - with all the money she spends there, wish I had shares in H*****d & B*****t:D
  9. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    I totally hear you on the medication issue. Even though she'd get a blood test or whatever if "the doctor" said so, my mother definitely would disagree with the doctor about what medications she should or should not take. (Let's not even talk about the horrible Vitamin D saga and related confabulations which left her so Vitamin D deficient that she was on track for rickets.) My mother also self-medicated for years and it was probably a huge factor in her hospitalization and move to the care home. There was no way she could do her medications on her own and she was doing some dangerous stuff with the meds. She was also in more pain than she needed to be because she couldn't do regular timed dosing.

    I don't know if she threw prescription meds in the trash (wouldn't surprise me), but I found a lot of meds in a lot of interesting places when we started cleaning out her place!
  10. its a struggle

    its a struggle Registered User

    On a visit to MIL yesterday I needed the loo (breath held as long as possible!) In the bathroom noticed the small medicine cupboard ajar so pushed to close - no joy so I opened it up.
    Mmmm - Devils Claw, Fat Metaboliser, something called digestive health fruits & fibres, bach rescue remedy spray, Calcium with Vit D.

    all quite worrying a she has prescribed meds that match some of these - Co-codamol, Calceos, Docusate. I know from past experience there is very little I can say to stop her buying the 'supplements' as she calls them; although I have printed advice from reputable medical websites regarding some herbal remedies, and she will take notice for a while.

    Consultant appointment 2 weeks today, hoping for a miracle - expecting nothing:(

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