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Sometimes I wonder if it's denial. "If I don't admit the symptom, nothing will be wrong."


Other times she doesn't want to admit responsibility for causing a problem. (Drinks loads of water hoping to avoid UTIs, but causes low sodium.) "I do NOT drink a lot of water!"


Then there's confusion from increasing dementia. Of course she stoutly denies that.


She SOUNDS lucid so med professionals take her word over mine. She's 92.

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My husband doesn’t have dementia, but he refuses to honestly speak with a doctor to tell him what’s wrong or how he’s feeling. Everything is fine...no worries...I have no idea why my wife dragged me in here. I wind up talking to the doctor because hubby is not the least interested in anything to do with his health. The only reason he knows he’s on Eliquis is because I pitched a giant fit when I found out what it cost. He never took doctors or therapists seriously, and it’s probably 95% of the reason he’s bedridden today.

He never went into the doctor alone and now that we have a doctor who makes house calls, I sit right there the whole time she’s here and answer questions. He used to blow me off in front of the doctor but the doctors always picked up on the fact that I was the one who knew about his health.

You can step step out for the actual exam, but during the chats, always be there.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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We were in the ER because Mom was too weak to get up off toilet.  The doctor asked: Do you have any chest pain?
Mom: No
Me:  Mom, he's not asking about a heart attack, but your lungs. Maybe bronchitis.
Mom: Oh.  Yes I have chest pain.  My lungs hurt.

We never let her go alone to see a doc after that hospital stay. (flu and lung complications.)
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
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Nurse: Are you taking all these medicines as directed?

Dad: Yes

Me: Dad, didn't you tell me last week that you check your blood pressure every morning and then decide how much medicine you are going to take that day?

Dad: Well, yes that's what I do. Good Pills, Bad Pills says you can only take so much of this stuff before it kills you.
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Reply to TNtechie
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Many posts suggest writing to the doctor etc before an appointment to let them know what you are seeing, so that they can check more carefully if the patient gives them different information. There is also an ability to get your mother to sign to let the doctor discuss her situation with you, overcoming the 'privacy' problem for the doctor. The doctor's surgery should be able to give you the form or information about where to get it. I have also managed to ask my MIL questions (do you remember the time when???) if I hear her giving 'wrong' answers. That lets the doctor hear from her not me, but flags a problem. Our poor elders seem to see the questions as an exam that they don't want to fail, which is not good for proper diagnosis.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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My dad doesn’t have dementia but I’ve had many talks with his doctors out in the halls out of his earshot. They don’t have to comment but they do listen to me, I make them aware that dad won’t tell them all of his symptoms, won’t complain about what’s bothering him, won’t learn his meds or what they’re for, won’t do anything proactive anymore, etc. This has proven helpful for us and dad never knows I do it.
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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If she has dementia, she can't be relied upon to report accurate information to a doctor or nurse. I have no idea why they don't know this. But, if she's in IL there may not be anyone around her to accurately report what is going on, because she's not monitored.

I'd explore if she needs closer supervision, having dementia and being 92, so they can log what meds she's taking, what she's consuming, how she's sleeping and monitor he in general, like in an AL.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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