I believe my mother has Alzheimer's or dementia, but she refuses to go to a doctor. Should I force her to go?

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My mother is 82. She refuses to see a doctor and has not been to one since early 1990's, I'm guessing. I know she has Alzheimer's or dementia. She "has" conversations with family members that never actually happened. Two days ago, she was convinced someone had come into her place to change furnace filters, when she was told it wasn't who she thought it was, she called him to thank him, she started freaking out. "So if it wasn't him, who was in my place and hugged me and told me they loved me?" In an attempt to calm her down I told her no one was there and it only made matters worse, as she became upset that we didn't believe her. Ugh. She currently lives alone, 2 blocks from my brother and a 10 minute drive from me. I know eventually she will have to have in-home care, move her in with one of us, or move to a nursing home. I wish I could get her to go to doctor for a diagnosis, but she flatly refuses. She has hung up on my brothers and I, or walked away and slammed her bedroom door and refused to come out whenever we bring it up. Should I try to force her to go? Should I just wait until she's so bad she won't fight any more because she won't know where we are taking her? I'm so sad this is happening to her. The saddest part is that she would be the one I would go to for advice on tough situations, but I can't do that now. Not for this obviously.

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I was definitely feeling depression on a daily basis for quite some time. vsparrow, look for an MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) program near you. It's made a world of difference for me.
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Thank you for your replies. Is crying EVERY SINGLE DAY normal? Because I do.
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I should mention that I have made and accompanied my mother to doctor's appts. She accused me of bullying her because of this and ranged from being resistant to the doctors to just walking out. My stress level was off the charts.
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I'm in your shoes. I finally decided to call Everybody Needs a Nurse near me. They are RN's. They visit and develop a relationship with the care receiver and then accompany them to doctors visits. My fingers are crossed that this will work well for my mother. At the very least I won't be the one who is the bad guy for taking her to her medical appointments. At best, my mother will have a medically knowledgeable supporter who will help get a proper diagnosis. I'm in Raleigh, NC. If you can't locate a similar business near you I would call them and ask if they can refer you.
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sparrow, when it comes to dementia there is a phase where a patient will start to make up stories thinking the stories were true. There is no way for us to try to correct the person, it would only make them very upset. It is best to just let her believe what she is saying, it is easier of everyone, especially your Mom.

Sorry you can't get your Mom to go to the doctor. One trick that may or may not work is to tell her if she doesn't go to the doctor then Medicare will no longer give her health insurance. This is called a therapeutic fib which we sometimes have to use for the patient's best interest.

In some cases, we have to wait for a serious illness or a bad fall to get our loved ones to the ER to be checked out, run tests, ect. From there they will go into the hospital for a couple of days, then into Rehab, then you can place Mom into Memory Care or a Nursing Home.

You can try in-home care using trained caregivers from an Agency, but it will be a sticker shock on the cost. My Dad had around the clock care, and the gals/guys were worth every penny. As for moving Mom in with you or another sibling, please look for other options instead as that is one way you or your siblings will crash and burn quickly from exhaustion.
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