When a person refuses to face up to their care needs?

Hi everyone.

I’m writing about a caring topic that has been something, as a carer to family members in the past, and currently, my spouse, I have found difficult to deal with. The topic is when you have to allow the person/patient their own way of dealing with their health issues. None of the people I cared for had dementia, so were/are of sound mind.

My father and mother did accept some medical care, but didn’t really pursue it fully and passed away on their own terms so to speak. Now my husband is very ill. He recovered a bit after his stroke about 5 years ago, but the last few weeks, he has lost his appetite, sleeps most of the time and is a bit short tempered. He needs so much help and care, which I provide, but seems to be working against me in providing it. He seems in denial, which is understandable, but I’m finding it difficult to just let him deal with it, as he needs my help so much.

I’m not expecting answers as such, but has anyone else encountered anything similar, or any advice would be great, thanks.

Hi Lucy

I had exactly the same situation with my 94 year old mum where she wouldn’t eat; take her meds; and slept most of the time. It is terribly distressing for the carer as there is intense frustration that you can’t solve everything. I do feel that everyone should be in charge of their own destiny and, although extremely difficult, I decided that if mum didn’t want to do something, then I was not going to force the point and the lovely nursing home she was in agreed. She was not in pain or distress, but trying to ‘nag’ her to eat / drink / take meds really did distress her. We all made sure she was treated kindly and with love; that she was as comfortable as possible; wasn’t in pain; and she didn’t feel everyone was on her case all the time. It is so difficult to deal with, but I think you need to give yourself a huge pat on the back for being so caring, but also let him do what he wants to do or you will both go bonkers! It’s a stressful situation and, to be quite honest, there’s not much you can do to ease your peace of mind, but rest assured, you’re doing a good job - be kind to yourself.

Lucy, what is the GP doing???