My wife with Alzheimer's refuses to go to the doctor; how can I get her to go?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

My wife was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's six yeas ago. She refuses to go to a doctor since and her health has become very worrisome for me. She has lost a lot of weight and I am concerned that she has developed other medical problems. She is adamant that there is nothing wrong with her and refuses to allow me to help her. How is it possible for me to get her medical evaluation when she still is able to make decisions altho the are the wrong ones.

Expert Answers

Jytte Lokvig, PhD, coaches families and professional caregivers and designs life-enrichment programs and activities for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Her workshops and seminars help caregivers and families create a healthy environment based on dignity and humor. She is the author of Alzheimer's A to Z: A Quick-Reference Guide.

It sounds as if your wife associates the doctor with bad news because of her diagnosis of six years ago, especially if she has been reminded frequently that she has Alzheimer's

Until you've succeeded with a doctor's visit, I would recommend that you don't mention Alzheimer's at all. Then talk to her doctor about the situation and ask him/her to consider a creative way to get her the necessary examination and tests. You can pretend that you are the one who needs to see the doctor and you want her to come along for emotional support. Then once you get there, the doctor can check you and then simultaneously check her, draw blood from you and her side-by-side, for example.