What should I do if my mother refuses to see a doctor because she believes that she can cure all her ailments herself?

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Mom has neuralgia pain, cataracts, hearing problems but she insists she can see and hear and pops allieve to ease her pain. Also dental problems but refuses to go to a dentist. She did have her annual physical and told the doctor nothing was wrong with her. In bed at night she sees a face of a man who she cannot identify then throws shoes at the image and then she claims she doesn't see it anymore. She is sleep deprived because when I look at her face she looks tired. She claims she can sleep during the day if she wants to and that there is no problems with her. How should I handle something like this?

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Does she have a good friend or spiritual leader who can convince her to see another doctor? Some people cover up so much when the visit a doctor that they leave without any help at all. That's very common.

If she is seeing a face that isn't there, she has some very serious issues that need to be addressed. It could be medication reactions (even too many OTC pills). It could be dementia. Or it could be another mental illness. You are right to be concerned.

Since she won't listen to you, I would try a third party. Elders often brush off their adult children, but will listen to a friend. She needs to see a psychiatrist and/or neurologist (as you know). It's how to get her there - one of the most frustrating issues of all. Please do try the third party option. Let us know how you do.
We have a similar problem. My father-in-law lies to the doctor all the time. We tell him my father-in-law turns up the TV to 27 (we listen at 9), cannot see, etc., but the doctor does nothing. We are totally frustrated as well. His bodily functions no longer work right, we think he has a prostate problem, tell the doctor and it does nothing. Yet he tells the doctor there's nothing wrong with him. I sincerely feel your frustration...and we have no idea what to do about it either - the doctor is NO help!
I to have dealt with this my mother needs catarats removed refuses uses a magnifying glass with chaep store bought glasses to read her enquirer, I took her to hearing specialist and her hearing is so far gone she is not even a candidate for a hearing aid, but she sees well and hears she says she can't even hear me 3 feet away we have some very interesting conversations and I keep them short, my father gave her money many times to have new glasses made she must have spent it on clothes so she can waatch them hang in the closet or candy ?? I have stpped thinking about it I went a year and a half trying to persuade her. she has no friends goes no where thats the way she wants it so be it. She has other issues as well NPD. I talk to her doctor before she gets there. H has tried everything for her but she has to do it her way so he said if you aren't going to listen to me you can start coming every 6 months instead of every 3 she is fine with that. She lies to the doctor as well I think they don't want to admit there is something wrong with them but when I have something wrongs she has had the very same thing NOT so all I can tell yu s they are getting older they are going to die and there is only so much you can do I don't mean that to sound harsh just reality My mother also hears a man playing a horn next door problem is the house has been vacant for 5 years. on the other hand I hear everything and haven't heard his music yet. ?? I strongly believe the element of dementia is at play here as well. Good luck to you and remember you can only do so much you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink it.
Forgive me but this entry above me had me cracking up. Hearing a horn blowing from a house that's been vacant for years....wow! reminds me of my mom sitting up in her bed, looking out of the front window, starring, yet asking me "who's that coming up"? and when I look there's no one there.

Ya just gotta laugh to keep from crying!
I have been on this merry-go-round for years. Every time I take mom to a new doc we go through the same routine. He asks her the usual questions to which she answers no. I have to gently reminder her about past surgeries, ailments, etc. Then, just to add icing to an already wonderful cake, the doctors gives me stern looks as if to say, "butt out!" We leave not knowing much more than when we arrived. However, if you question them, their alternative is to put her through all these tests that she doesn't need. As Anon said above, they are just getting older and all the "parts" are wearing out. I don't expect any cures for my mom, I just want to ensure a good and comfortable quality of life.

For minor ailments, I take to the web and look at natural treatments. I have had good success with these. I bought a great naturopathic book that is organized alphabetically by illness. It is my medical "bible." Western doctors are still being taught to "cure" rather than "prevent" illness. Also, they do not want to be bothered with time-consuming discussions about minor ailments or how to stay healthy. They would rather have you wait until you are seriously ill before you come to them for a "cure" (ie: surgery or pills). Mom kept having problems with constipation and water retention. Her doc's solution was, of course, prescriptions or OTC pills that work for awhile then stop working all together. So I got out my book, made changes to her diet, added a few things to her diet, and she has not had problems since. I tell her jokingly that I am going to send her my "bill" to which she replies, "put it on the cuff." Ya' gotta' chuckle once and awhile.

My mom is also in the middle of extensive dental work because her former dentist, in the state where she lived, figured that she was old and didn't need to go through more dental work. This has come back to haunt her because she needs everything now.

Whenever you visit a doctor you have to advocate for yourself (or have someone with you who can.) I take a list of concerns with me and have the doctor address them individually. If I get the vibe that they are rushing mom, do not want to deal with seniors, or want to push unnecessary prescriptions on her, I shop for a new doc. Mom's new doc is a geriatric specialist with a very calm demeanor - I really like him. There are many good ones out there - you just have to do a little foot work.

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