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Refusing help

(11 Posts)
randomer Wed 13-Apr-16 20:12:35

My very elderly parents live a good two hours from me. They refuse all suggestions and offers of help. They are on my mind 24/7. Any ideas please

thesandwich Wed 13-Apr-16 21:26:45

Sorry to hear this- but sadly if they won't accept help there is little you can do other than research what is available for when something happens- as it will,sadly- a fall or something which will trigger change. Is there anyone they would listen to - family member/ vicar/ doctor? It is amazing what someone else can convince them of- it was only when DM had a fire safety visit following a fire in her road that two hunky firemen persuaded her to have an emergency pendant alarm.... I had tried for years........😄

vdbfamily Wed 13-Apr-16 21:47:24

Is there anything specific they are not coping with that worries you? I agree that the suggestions of help are better coming from outside the family. If there are specific things then phone their surgery and ask if they can be assessed at home to see what might help them remain there safely. An Occupational Therapy assessment at home might be appropriate if they are frail and struggling to stand from bed/chair or toilet or access bath/shower or finding cooking hard or getting dressed. I am an OT and often manage to convince people to have help that the family have been suggesting for years!!

whataboutbob Thu 14-Apr-16 21:40:58

It's true professionals can often move things forward where relatives have failed to. I also noticed with my grandfather that he was much more willing to take advice and help from contemporaries as opposed to young whipersnaper (at the time anyway) me. He had a very "with it" cousin and her husband, who got him to accept home help.

randomer Fri 15-Apr-16 11:00:19

thanks for your kind replies. My dad insists on driving......should i contact the GP?
Something will precipitate change. They had OT round who was excellent. Told them to remove mats...they have reappeared. Gave them equipment....they got somebody to put it in the loft.

whataboutbob Fri 15-Apr-16 13:28:49

You could contact the GP but unless the legislation has changed since my Dad was last driving (with terrifying results)he can't force him to stop. You could also contact the DVLA, they will send them a form re having a medical and a re test, which your Dad may choose to ignore (as mine did).
In my Dad's case the only thing that stopped him was not having capacity to renew his road tax, eventually the car was towed away.
It's really difficult witnessing this. It's also not uncommon for elderly persons to react as yours are when their abilities start slipping away. Sooner or later there'll be a crisis. At least you will have tried. Sorry if this sounds harsh but sometimes there's nothing we can do except offer help and wait until parents are ready to take it.

angemorange Fri 15-Apr-16 14:07:21

I'm afraid whataboutbob is right - often you can only get changes after a crisis or with the help of a sympathetic care manager.

My DM was resistant to any help but, after it was clear she wasn't eating properly, a care manager arranged for someone to call and make her lunch.

This has gone well and I'm hoping to add in another call in the day to make her something at tea time, administer medication etc.

I only live a short drive away and can manage her housework, laundry etc myself, but it may be a way in for you - if you could persuade them they would be getting a 'home help' rather than care it could be more attractive to them.

thesandwich Fri 15-Apr-16 16:31:45

it was only when my mil could not remember how to fill up her car at the petrol station and a community police officer was called we were able to ask him to tell her she could not drive.We hid the keys.

randomer Sat 16-Apr-16 08:50:53

they refuse all help. They can please themselves but I don't want the to harm somebody else.

Badders123 Sat 16-Apr-16 19:55:39

Contact the dvla

25aylmer Wed 20-Apr-16 10:34:42

Its really really hard. We did eventually get DM to stop driving but it was awful and only worked when we showed her how many new bumps and bashes she had on the car each month (she claimed they just appeared and must be someone else hitting her...). The law has changed though and you should definitely involve the GP and DVLA. There is some really good info on this site which we used to navigate our way through this minefield www.agespace.org/real-life/driving-safely-in-old-age-and-when-to-stop-driving/
And they also have a rather sad blog about elderly people refusing help. In the end it has to be their choice - unless, as you say, they are a danger to others, but its really really hard to stand by and watch. Good luck.
www.agespace.org/when-an-elderly-person-refuses-help/

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