[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
how do you cope with someone in denial - Carers UK Forum

how do you cope with someone in denial

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Oh is now 76, many years ago was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. He says this is just something the doctor put on his records and never took off. i.e he has never had treatment. Also injuries to his lumbar spine and a motor bike accident to his neck in his late 20s. All of which mean he now has gret pain in his back, often finds it difficult to walk and a lot of his peripheral joints are compromised.
After his last fall he was snet off to a and e for orthopaedic review. I didn't gowith him because I was not expecting hi to be returning.They xrayed his hip said nothing broken we are trying to find him a community bed so he can have intensive physio and rehab. He changed his mind having agreed and demanded to be sent home.Now he will not use his walker, refuses to have stronger painkillers,won't allow any suggestion that he needs help and refused to have a standing hoist to help when he can't get up and down. Tells everybody its me fussing and he doesn't need any equipment . Its obvious to everyone except him that he does need these things.Doctor knows him well and knows his ability to bury his head in the sand but says there is nothing anyone can do unless he looks for help.

I've tried explaining to him that this all impacts on me but he really does not care at all and cannot see that accepting he is ill and allowing help is a lot less stressful than waiting for the next fall and feeling guilty for hoping its bad enought to be a real wake up call.

Has anyone else experienced this level of denial and how do you cope without ending up thinking that you are the one going mad?
Hi, pleased you stuck around Image

I cant give an easy answer. Audrey makes a lot of sense in what she says. Thanks for telling us more about your situation. I understand now. And I can really feel the frustration in your words, desperately wanting to help someone you care for. Its so hard when you cant help someone and there seems nothing you can do about it. It sounds obvious, but you can only do so much. You can advise and try to help someone. But at the end of the day its down to them. I know that does not make it any easier. It does not change things much. Except knowing you have done all that you can means you should avoid feeling guilty and punishing yourself. But in this situation, the more we love someone, the more it hurts. And you're hurting very much right now.

I am so pleased you told us what is going on for you. I am sincerely very sorry and hope you can somehow find a way to live with things, such as they are. I know it must be hard. Very hard. Dont forget we are here. Always happy to listen. And we care about you.

Robert
That's a hard one. In my oh's case he had no choice but to accept as he is immobile, amongst other things.
I'm still in denial, but that's a coping mechanism I think. And I know if it was me I wouldn't accept it graciously.
But until someone recognises their need and asks for help you can't force it on them.
(((((((((((((((((((hug)))))))))))))))))
My husband was pretty much the same and tried to hide everything from me, unsuccessfully.
If the doctor asks how he's feeling he is always "fine", even though it is not true. Most of the time I have to interject and explain why he is not "fine."

The result is everything happens at crisis point. For example, a few years ago OH stopped going upstairs to bed. He started sleeping on the sofa in the lounge. The first few days I was annoyed and then it boiled over into anger. Shower and bathtub are upstairs, so I asked him how he expected to stay clean. After days of refusing to give me an honest answer why he was not going upstairs he told me it was because it made him too breathless. He couldn't walk up the stairs anymore. Hence, we (me) had to rush to have a stair lift installed.

I hate to stereotype, but IMO woman are better at asking for help before there is no choice in the matter.

Have you told the doctor that you cannot care for your husband unless you have the assistance he obviously needs? I would shift the need from your husband to you and see what happens.
Thanks everyone, at least I now know that I am not the only one. There are other things complicating the issue that I really am only coming to terms with myself and maybe will discuss at a later stage, maybe not.

Last night I sat and cried when I was reading the replies, just to know that there are other people out there who know what it feels like.When you think you are going barking mad because you don't know which way to go it just helps to know you can let off steam
Hi,as everyone else has said,there isn`t much you can do other than point out the problems and talk about them.But you can help yourself.You are clearly concerned and worried about the situation,and simply saying don`t worry is no help at all.But try seeing his denial as a part of the illness,accept that it is a part of him that you cannot cure,and then try to deal with the results.If he had a broken leg instead of denial you would deal with it.The denial is really no different,it`s just that because you can see the logical answer you expect him to,but he can`t/won`t,and no amount of worrying will change that,it will just create more stress in you.If you see his attitude as an illness then maybe you will be able to cope better.My Dad has Vascular Dementia,and often makes no sense at all,but there is no point in me expecting him to be sensible and getting stressed about it,i have to accept him as he is and deal with it.I hope this makes sense and not harsh.We can all too easily make ourselves ill by worrying over things that we cannot change.Best wishes. Image
Thanks Michael, what you say makes sense but the difference is that he is of sound mind, capable of reasoning and able to make his own decisions, its there fore very hard to convince yourself its aprt of his illness. No I cannot change him and I am trying hard to learn how not to worry but when you see someone lurching around and are just waiting for the next accident and wondering how bad it is going to be its very hard not to.
Yes, i have though our circumstannces may be very different. In my case, my OH has dementia as well as other health and mobility problems. So perhaps it is easier for me to cope than it is for you because i can lay his denial firmly in the lap of his decreasing cognition. Without being able to blame the dementia it would be much much harder for me to cope with his denial.

Sometimes i try to put myself in his shoes and can momentarily understand his desire to be the man he was. How frustrating it must be for our loved ones to learn to accept their limitations. Then i wonder how i might behave in the same situation, would i refuse to accept help, would my pride kick in, would i be a flippin nuisance(!) or would i be able to accept my lot graciously??? To be honest - i have no idea.

Gosh, dont know that i have been much help to you, hopefully you at least know now that you are not alone. It must be a huge problem for you and such a worry, constant.

ps welcome to the forum, glad to see you posted again. Image and Michael is right, as long as you are careful not to post personal details like full name and address, it is a very safe place to be here. Though of course, anyone can use the forum. I am glad to say our moderators are excellent and keep an eye on things too. Hope i am making sense am a bit tired to be honest. Image Image
Thanks Audrey- have been trying to reply to your pm but either I've sent you about 6 this am or none at all- can't work it out
My husband was pretty much the same and tried to hide everything from me, unsuccessfully.
If the doctor asks how he's feeling he is always "fine", even though it is not true. Most of the time I have to interject and explain why he is not "fine."

The result is everything happens at crisis point. For example, a few years ago OH stopped going upstairs to bed. He started sleeping on the sofa in the lounge. The first few days I was annoyed and then it boiled over into anger. Shower and bathtub are upstairs, so I asked him how he expected to stay clean. After days of refusing to give me an honest answer why he was not going upstairs he told me it was because it made him too breathless. He couldn't walk up the stairs anymore. Hence, we (me) had to rush to have a stair lift installed.

I hate to stereotype, but IMO woman are better at asking for help before there is no choice in the matter.

Have you told the doctor that you cannot care for your husband unless you have the assistance he obviously needs? I would shift the need from your husband to you and see what happens.
Sounds so familiar!!! The problem is that the assistance is there but he just won't make use of it.As everyone says if someone of sound mind doesn't want to do something you cannot make them.
Long ago I was a social worker for the elderly. Too young to do my CSW training, I had a caseload of almost 200! Part of my job in those days was to recommend aids (no council OT's in those days!). With two grandparents that I loved, who were very proud, I realised that accepting the need for bath aids, walking aids would be very difficult for them, and would be for my clients too. The way I got round it was to say that I had a client with a similar disability, they'd borrowed a bath seat (or whatever) on trial, to see if it was any good. When they found it helped, and it was much nicer being able to have a bath easily, they decided to keep it. Without fail, new client found that this allowed them to have the aid with their dignity still intact - and this is the problem of course. Accepting that your condition is getting worse is very difficult. Do you think your husband would accept the aid on a "just in case" basis? My mum has severe osteoporosis, similar to spondylitis in some ways. After a series of falls, she has spent a month in hospital. The specialist wanted her to have an MRI scan but sadly she was too bent to fit into the machine. However, he thinks that her spine is so bent that it is placing pressure on the nerves to the legs, which is why they suddenly give way and she has a fall. Do you think this could be happening in your husband's case?