Follow
Share

My grandfather is 75 and has had a phobia of doctors his entire life. He has never seen one and refuses to go, especially now. He doesn't have any memory loss, but he does get delusional, it comes and goes. He started lying recently, feeding the dog from the plate and while doing it, say he isn't.
He's a very big man and can get violent, so tricking him to the doctor or having him made incompetent seems catastrophic.
Without tests we have no idea if it's dementia, or if there are other brain issues that could cause his behaviour. My grandmother is a stubborn woman, and flips between helping him and getting angry at him (out of fear I imagine, they've been married almost 60 years). My uncle lives next door and he causes my grandfather a LOT of stress and anxiety, he has his entire life, and he once cause him to have a mental breakdown several years ago.

So these are the two nearest to him who are taking care of him. What can we do? We can't be there all of the time, but they yell at him and make him feel terrible. He's had depression his whole life, something my grandmother refuses to acknowledge because when she asks him if he's depressed he says no. We're really stuck. If a doctor is out of the question, and moving him is out of the question, and his primary caregivers both suffer from mental illness themselves, what can we do? If anyone can please give me some advice it would be greatly appreciated. He's a great man, watching this happen is more heart breaking than we ever could have imagined.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Kelsey, I agree with Pam; there are family dynamics in place that are creating friction in the family, and I seriously doubt there's any way to change them now without intervention, which I doubt the family would accept.

I wish I could suggest something to help, but sometimes situations are just beyond our control. It is great though that your grandfather has been otherwise healthy and hasn't needed medical intervention.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sandwich, I understand your friend's comment about not getting along with doctors. We rejected a number who either wouldn't answer questions, or pulled out their prescription pads as first line solutions to everything. That's primarily the reason I don't go any more than I have to. It's a waste of my time.

Another aspect that really annoys me is the obsession with blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but what I've seen as complete ignorance of the need to test for environmental contaminants. I had to ask to have a lead screening done, and when it showed positive results, the doctor said "it's normal." Obviously I dumped her and never went back.

I also got tired of the "deer in the headlights" look when I asked about natural solutions rather than medications.

Over the years we've found doctors who integrate vitamin therapy and nonmedication suggestions but it hasn't been easy to locate them.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Get a social worker immediately.
There needs to be an in-home assessment to get a paper file going with the local social services authorities, and create the followups that need to happen.

I have a coworker who is also phobic of doctors. She's nearing 60 and never had a mammogram or stayed up to date on her vaccinations. She refuses to have the routine tests one has over age 50. This woman is really sharp and not uneducated.

She said she can't find a doctor she can get along with. I almost laughed out loud. I'd heard my mom say this very thing when a doctor had told her something she didn't want to do like lose weight, exercise, eat healthy, etc.

I told my coworker that she was very lucky so far, and that I hope nothing drastic happens that could have been treated with early intervention!

She didn't think women would make very good doctors, so she had only ever been to male doctors. I suggested she try a female doctor just for the heck of it. It might be a completely different experience!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

No and that's true. We're struggling with what to do about his wife and son. I'm not sure they're capable of caring beyond themselves enough for what he needs.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It would seem the bigger problem is the wife and son. If he has gone 75 years without seeing an MD, he's not about to go now. Let him be. He is not incompetent from what you describe.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.