Often crying but denying there is anything wrong

Mum has Mild Cognitive Impairment diagnosed earlier this year and she is continuing to decline, she is 83 and lives alone. She is quite anti-social and would happily never leave the house again (has no outside space at all) although I do get her into the car with difficulty every couple of weeks for a journey out for a drive or to a cafe. I have financial POA in place as she wasn’t handling her money very well but health POAnot set up, her choice. She became obsessed with a man much younger than me, he was the son of a pen pal she had known since the 1970’s, she ended up sending him thousands of £’s before I could enact the POA. He was emailing her quite a lot but she has said she no longer has access to money and he no longer emails her (people like him - no polite words).

We speak every morning between 9 and 10, and if she’s a bit later to wake and get up she cries a lot on the phone, great sobs like a child. I have been kindly and gently asking for a long time what if anything is wrong, is she in pain, anything happened etc but she just gasps back ‘I’m alright’ and then starts crying again. I have alerted Dr (I used to work at the surgery and have a good relationship with all there) but when she is face to face in the surgery she bucks up no end and you wouldn’t think there is a problem.

I think she has been depressed for years but my opinion doesn’t really count!

Where do I go with this? She is declining quite a bit, wants to stay at home, doesn’t want carers or a cleaner (and I am not doing those things for her, I have always been there for emergencies but work f/t, am married, and live 45 mins drive away), and says she is not lonely. She doesn’t like people and loathes children (we are not close, but I do worry and care about her). Is there anyone I should contact outside of the GP to alert to her decline? She would be self funding, but this isn’t about money, I just don’t know the systems available and am in limbo.

Hi Devon Maid,

She does sound depressed. People f don’t slways tell the truth, so just because she says she isn’t lonely for example, doesn’t necessarily mean she isn’t.

She bucked up at the surgery - why was that? Friendly faces / an extra outing / to convince nothing was wrong?

You can refer her for a Needs Assessment or find support for her yourself, but if she has mental capacity and refuses help, you can’t make her accept it.


Does she prefer animals to people? You could contact Pal dogs/pets and arrange for them to visit her. She might find it therapeutic stroking a pet.

She might also accept a weekly phone call from a befriender. Age Uk and Silverline (?) provide this service.


i would talk to your Mum again and see if she will let you have LPA for Health and Welfare as well as Finance. I found it so useful with my Mum as she knew I would make the best decisions for her and would be watching people like a hawk to ensure she was treated with respect and great care.

In the meantime if your Mum agrees you could both write to her medical practice saying you are her nominated person to talk to about any health issues. I also did that and it was invaluable.

I wrote to my late husband’s GP when I was frantic about his declining memory issues and UTIs
It did help as the Doctor allowed me to attend the surgery with him. Worth a try

I would suggest recording her sobbing on the phone, and share it with the GP, so that the GP understands just how bad it is.