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please help - advice on helping family members who are refusing support

(4 Posts)
NotWithoutMyMerkin Wed 13-Apr-16 17:51:07

Try to keep this brief.
My mum and her partner live together. My mum has ongoing issues with alcohol addiction and anorexia - previously (within the last year) she has attempted (was made to cooperate withv ) treatment for the eating disorder including tube feeding, counselling etc. These treatments work to get her weight back into an acceptable range but never seem to solve the underlying problem.

Her partner is undergoing treatment for cancer - potentially terminal - although getting a clear story out of either of them is almost impossible so it's difficult to understand the prognosis. He is being tube fed so there is no food in the house and my DMs weight has dropped significantly again.

My DM has had her driving license revoked, (and is not well enough to take a bus/walk around shops) and her partner is (recently this last few weeks) no longer well enough to drive. They're in a village so no access to shops, and not technically capable of shopping online although family members could organise this for them if they were willing. However I suspect they (DM) won't want to admit a week's shopping consists mostly of cider and cigarettes and milk.

There are potentially issues with my mums partner taking medications he shouldn't be, and he is also potentially getting aggressive with my DM. There was a situation recently where he was hospitalised and he was only released when my DM said she would be able to care for him, yet she is not capable of this. She is tiny (weight and stature) and he is stumbling/falling, plus unable to dress/undress himself.

They are refusing to get any help. They are relying on a family member for shopping and errands although this isn't sustainable for the family member in question (eg she had to make a 2 hour round trip on Sunday to deliver cigarettes and a newspaper). Otherwise they're asking for help from their neighbour but again this isn't sustainable.

My DM is saying she can't cope, but won't ring the doctor or hospital to ask what help they can get. (I suspect her reasons for this include not wanting health professionals to see the state she is in, along with the fact that her partner is firm he doesn't want any nursing help etc).

Is there anything we can do? Has anybody been in this situation?

NotWithoutMyMerkin Wed 13-Apr-16 19:59:06


Rezolution123 Wed 13-Apr-16 20:17:37

Sorry you are in this situation. Unfortunately there is not much you can do if they refuse medical help. They are within their legal rights to refuse treatment as far as I know. It is hard, I know, as we have been in a similar situation. Parents and in-laws can be very difficult to help at times.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Wed 13-Apr-16 20:24:15

Gosh what a mess.

As they are adults you can't force them to accept help, but you can be clear about what you will do for them, and encourage them to seek appropriate help.

If possible speak to other family members to be a United front.

Figure out what you want to reasonably do for them, and tell them this. E.g. would you want to order a fortnightly internet shop? Tell them this, and be clear that you won't be stepping up to provide other things, if they want those things done they need to accept help from professionals.

Say you can help to sort that out- e.g. find the number for social services so they can request an assessment- but that if they decide to not seek help you won't be doing these things for them.

Sadly they may refuse and suffer for that, but that really is their decision.

Is there a chance of them moving to a town where they could be more independent?

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