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Won't acknowledge - Carers UK Forum

Won't acknowledge

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Two years ago my mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Since then she has never acknowledged the diagnosis. She says doctors know nothing and the drugs she was put on for a heart condition are the cause of her aging. She had deteriorated over the two years and I try to cope with all of the daily trials and tribulations but I've now have been diagnosed with depression. My mother will not accept any outside help as "there is nothing wrong with me" she keeps saying. I had someone coming once a week to help with showering but mum got so worked up and agitated it wasn't worth continuing with this. Is there any way to get someone to realise that they are different and that their carer (me) needs some help and some time off? I do most things now but in mum's mind she still does everything. I don't want praise, it would just be better if mum would accept some outside help.
Hi Anne,
Others will be along with direct experience of this very problem. In the meantime, I have read how others have convinced their relative that the help is for them (the carer,) or that their relative can help to train up workers to help older folk who really do need help! I'm sure other members will be along to elaborate.

Hi Anne
There comes a time when you have to accept that you just cannot do everything and that actually you deserve something of a life of your own.
Yes one good method is to say to Mum that YOU need some help. You aren't very well, the doctor (people respect what the doctors say) has told you that you need to 'rest' more. Tell her you cannot rest properly if you are worried about her. She has to accept some help in order to help you.
Do you live with Mum? Maybe you will have to 'play the invalid' for a while until Mum accepts some care and then gradually increase it.
How old is Mum? You can guarantee that things will get worse. You have to start to take control. Ditch the Mum's my mum and therefore the boss, and start thinking 'wilful child' and YOU are the boss. I'm afraid that's what happens as Mum sinks further into dementia and old age. No escaping it.
Have you and she had assessments from Social Services. Needs Assessment and Carer's Assessment? If not get them organised. You need to start rescuing yourself from the constant, wearing, health destroying position of 'full time care' as soon as possible and get help, or there will be nothing left of Deborah but a worn out drudge. Don't do that to yourself because Mum is selfish. (Yes she is, even if it's the dementia causing it).
Keep posting. Ask whatever you like, say whatever you like. (As long as it's not swearing out loud!!)
I completely agree with Elaine. Sad, but true.

You will need, alas, to spell out to your mum that unless she accepts help, she will go into a home, and that is that.

Sadly, the very nature of dementia makes it impossible for sufferers to understand that they have it!!!

Do remember, you have NO legal duty of care towards your mum, whether she lives with you, or you with her, or separately. You are entirely free to walk away from her at any time - and you may well have to use this 'threat' to get care workers coming in regularly, and also, residential respite care for her so you get a GOOD break (a holiday - remember those??!!). Residential care home may well await her - as her dementia worsens, and her needs increase, and you will not be able to provide round-the-clock care, day and night.

May I ask, when you had someone come in to help with showering, were you present, or did you leave the carer to it and go out? If you were there, and your mum knew, then 'no wonder' she kicked off! You'll have to physically leave, and let the carers get on with it. They are experienced, and know how to get 'obstinate' carees to do what they need to do.

Think of your mum as an 'elderly toddler' now. Toddlers will always want 'mummy' to do everything, not the nursery teacher etc - until 'mummy' isn't around any more!

You will need to be firm about this - your mum is no longer capable of thinking of you, and has become entirely 'self-focussed'. You wouldn't expect a three year old toddler to care tuppance about how tired you are - so you can't expect your mum to either. But you wouldn't 'give in' to a toddler - even if they threw a paddy!. So you mustn't give in to your mum either.

You have to have breaks and help, or you'll crack. (And, sadly, your mum won't even notice......)
Hello Anne , Am sorry you are having these problems with your Mum (tho from what I understand this type of problem is quite common )

Can I suggest you phone the Alzheimer's Society Help Line :


OPEN > Week Days 9.00 > 5.00pm

Weekends > 10.00 > 4.00 pm

Also I think it would help you both if you were able too visit a Memory Cafe > Run by your Local Altz Society Group These Cafes provide help for the Carer ( Support Workers too help YOU cope etc ) Plus Activities for your Mum too take part in ( all with a friendly smile , a Cuppa & the usual Cake ! :) ) The phone line Advisor should be able too suggest / advisie you about your Local Support NetWork

Also if might be helpful too contact the Admiral Nurse's Network > they are special Nurser 's who are trained in helping / coping with this type of problem ( sorry in a rush but will try & put their LINK** on later ( Phone number etc)

Thinking of you & agree with the other's you must have help or your own health will SUFFER**

Love & Kind thoughts

Annie 44 X X
Hi Anne , sorry I posted onto the other post before mine ! & please if you can post again too let us know how you both are

Annie 44 x
I have had similar experiences. My mum does not accept that she has dementia as she equates it as madness. I just tell her it's old age like her mum has and she readily accepts it. It's the medical term she rejects. It may be different for you but good luck, it's very hard.
Sadly, as dementia deepens, it takes away the ability to understand what is afflicting them - which, in a way, is a kind of blessing really. And if calling it 'old age' makes it less frightening, then why not?
I agree with all of the above. The trouble with vascular dementia is that it comes and goes according to the blood supply to the brain. Tell her it just means that the blood doesnt always get to the memory centres properly, so she forgets to do things or how to do things. Some days she may be fine.It doesnt mean she is going mad.It is a stupid term.Help is often through the Alzheimers Soc which deals with all kinds of dementia or memory loss. Say you need help to help her. Sometimes you have to use tough love and not do some thing for her or react slowly so she realises you need help.Though often they just remember what they need at that particular time. It is difficult but think what would happen if she was left on her own all the time. You need some time for yourself or you will take ill. I got Shingles 2yrs into caring, wouldnt accept at the time that it was due to stress but it probably was. After that I made myself go away 1 night every 2mths, not particularly pleasant in a hotel on my own but I thought if it was going to keep me well I had to do it. Initially my husband used all sort of emotional black mail but I employed own own care workers and they used to spoil him whilst I was away and when it became part of the routine, he accepted it
Never easy It might be possible to introduce a memory weekly event -like singing for the brain, when you can leave her for a few hours.
Good Luck