Doctors second opinion or unable to help?

My friends mum is “declining in mental state” as she puts it. she has had to move in with friends sister, cant really look after herself and has many memory issues. She gets in a car and tries to present her bus pass, loves word search books but complains she has picked one up “someone else has done”, goes for a walk and then rings up to meet for a coffee (she is worried she wont find house on way back).
of course when ever you suggest getting a test its the old “better off without me” “theres nothing wrong i dont need a doctor” “you all hate me” routine.
Finally under the guise of a well woman clinic got her to see a doctor and my friend said " went to doctor, mum said nothing wrong with her and didn’t want a memory test. [sister] said doc could see there was an issue but can’t do anything as she refuses any help. [sister] is at her wit’s end and I’m not happy with mum. Unless she changes her mind [sister] can’t get any help [carer assistance].
friend and sister have financial POA and my carer org contacts have all said that once she is “confirmed” they will flood offers.
any advice out there on what to try next?

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Hi Liam,

I don’t have experience of this but others on here have cared/ are caring for someone with dementia. Until they reply this link might me helpful:

It includes info on helping someone with suspected dementia and no diagnosis.

It must be very frightening for the Mum and a difficult situation for the sisters to deal with.

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Hi Liam
When I was extremely worried about my late husband’s decline with memory I wrote to his doctor, and listed all of the ’ odd things’ he was doing. I asked the doctor if he would see hubby, but not say it was for a memory test, but general consultation. Blood pressure etc. The doctor honoured this. He did the test. I won’t go into any more details at the moment but maybe your sister could do the same? It’s very difficult I truly understand that.

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Hi Liam

Tough situation. I suggest you email the Helpline: it may be that the situation calls for a Mental Capacity Assessment first - it’s about the only way to get past this but you need evidence of issues around that. The Helpline is more up to date (and qualified) to explain this to you in greater detail.


Call the helpline to get more advice. Good luck. Based on the information in your post perhaps consider a mental capacity evaluation.

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thanks, i have passed on the comments and suggestions.
additional comments from her are
“No point as mum says nothing is wrong with her, the doc can’t do anything even though he knows there is”
" [sister] has had enough of mum living with her because of mum lying to the doctor. Mum wants to go back to her flat, but I am trying to get her to move in with me. [sister] said she will see how long I put up with mum living here
[sister] is on the verge of a breakdown and doesn’t care if mum lives or dies. I don’t want mum to go back to the flat as she won’t be able to manage and want her to live with me"

If I was you I would make notes. Doctors can be struck off for unprofessional behaviour.

The point of a mental capacity assessment for a specific decision, such as medical treatment, is that if she doesn’t have capacity, a decision can be made in her best interests.

Hi Liam, you will certainly not be flooded with offers. I am on my own caring for my husband with Alzheimers, i am allowed out for 3 hours each week to get all essentials, go to dentist, hairdresser, optician etc. As i have very bad osteoarthritis my ability to rush around in 3 hours is minimal! As im not suicidal my doctor will not allow respite care. Definitely a 3rd world country.
Hope you get your help.


Olive, NO ONE can be forced to care. Assessed needs must be met.
Sadly, dementia gets worse and worse, and towards the end residential care with a TEAM of carers, not just one exhausted daughter, is the only option left. I know how hard this decision is.

Mum is entitled to Attendance Allowance and exemption from Council Tax after a formal diagnosis. Concentrate on what mum needs, not what you want.

There may be a home near mum that offers day care, as well as residential care.


Heya. Definitely see about finding a local care home. In my area there is at least one within walking distance of my house plus the care agencies. View a few different care home reports and then discuss everything face to face in order to prepare yourself. Make brief summary notes in addition.
Good luck. Read far beyond the lines of the actual report to discover what the care home in question is truly like. Go over the entire care home room by room. Take a close and careful look at their website. Talk with a few members of care home staff and residents as well. Pay very close and careful attention to the total number of reviews that are left on helpful sites like
Also try to speak to care providers. Again call or email them up additionally to find out a bit more. If you like what you see then you have nothing to lose from using them. If not find another care company.

I would take no notice at all of reviews on the site you mention. They only publish positive reviews and of course care home owners/managers ask new families to put reviews on during the “honeymoon period” when they are just relieved to get their loved one in somewhere. I was persuaded to do that but as care deteriorated I decided to change my review which wasn’t possible so I asked them to delete it and that took months and lots of badgering!


I understand where you are coming from. When hubby was in the nursing home, I was waiting in the reception and read a book of letters from families. Not one was negative or even a little. I know for a fact an ex resident’s partner wrote a letter saying exactly what she thought, but not added . Whether I agreed is irrelevant,it’s how she felt and should have been added. Making a place look perfect isn’t helpful.


After my Mum moved to a better care home I spoke to 3 people who had parents in the poor care home and they all said they initially complained about the home but the owner was nasty to them and they were concerned she or her staff would take it out on their loved one.

The only way to find out what a place is like is to make unannounced visits and if there are any visitors in the car park you could ask them what they think.

Olive you have my sympathy. Husband has an appointment with a Memory Clinic next month. I get no help. Husband is medically non compliant which does not help but when the District Nurses discharged him, the GP did a quick test over the phone and said he had ‘mental capacity’. I appreciate this is ‘fluid’ but I personally doubt he has it at times. He thinks company websites are news articles and I have had to really beg him not to give out my ex directory landline to Solar Panel and Equity Release companies. On the computer, he types in the search bar rather than the bar in Tesco groceries for example, and then gets upset and cannot understand how he has got to a totally different website. He does this when he is trying to order things on amazon too. I try to limit him to one credit card.

I too do not get out as much as I would like . I have been going out more lately as felt I was on the verge of drifting into clinical depression. I do have a few local friends who seem happy to meet me for an hour and a half. But even then, I have my eye on the clock and cannot fully relax. Even at night, if he goes into the kitchen (under my bedroom) he tends to wake me up and I go downstairs to check he has not left the ring on - he does sometimes heat rice pudding at 2am. Frankly I hope we do get a dementia diagnosis as I will feel safer if/when I need to call the police as he does lash out.

Good luck. My first piece of advice is to make brief summary notes. Maybe also research a few care homes in town that take all older people with dementia. Also look at local care companies that support the older folks with dementia as well. I recommend reading all the information you can find related to the care home or care company in question. This includes old news articles, reports and policies then make a decision. Visit all care homes in the area in addition. You can do this. Truly. I have a reference folder for care homes.
Look at the home photos and read far beyond the lines in order to proceed further. Talk to a bunch of people. Discuss his care needs. See all around the care home. Learn all you can. View photos. The first step is a needs evaluation with a social worker from the local council. Start the process next week on Monday morning pronto. One good way to find a care home is to speak directly with fellow church people about who they trust. Request a meeting to talk about everything that matters prior to going further.

Looking into residents rooms as a visitor probably wouldn’t be acceptable. Especially if the resident is actually in the room.

My husband was agressive until he was given lots of medication. He now sits all day doing suduko even though he recognises no one, non verbal, unable to feed himself. I am in the house 24 / 7 and get a sitter for 3 hours per week although she didnt arrive this week. I have osteoarthritis and was doing ok, prior to confinement to home, as i was walking and cycling daily plus attending exercise classes. I am now unable to get my husband up each day, change and wash him. 2 carers come in 4 times per day to attend to him which also gives me cheerful faces greeting me which is an enormous blessing.

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Why, why, why have i to be suicidal before I can get respite for my husband??? How can a doctor let me deteriate to that degree, however, knowing how little my life means is steadily pushing me further down. How is 6 hours help per week nearly enough?

Thank you for your assessment, you are thinking like a social worker. If i am overworked, stressed as i dont have enough time to get out for essentials how can i take proper care of my husband??