Dad doesn’t want to get out of bed - Care Community

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Dad doesn’t want to get out of bed


Trying to get dad out of bed is getting really hard. Doctor said yesterday there is no reason medically for him to be in bed but he refuses cajoling, begging, insisting, pleading etc etc.

He is 91 years old and seems to have given up. He just says tomorrow and then closes his eyes.

Any advice. He went into care home temporarily for house mods to be made but it seems like the home could now be too dangerous for his return. Had physio input and that worked for several days but he is even becoming abusive to anyone that tries to get him up.

At wits end trying to get him up as don’t want him to fester and pick up chest infection or bed sores etc

Your help and tips would be appreciated

15 Replies

Your post raises lots of questions in my mind.

Why do you want to get Dad out of bed? What would he do once up?

Obviously you are concerned about chest infections and bed sores but these are preventative or treatable.

Washing can be overcome by bed bath...not ideal but perfectly possible. As can changing bedding.

Is he in any pain which is worsened by moving? Poor mobility?

His bedroom and bed will likely be his 'comfort' zone. He feels safe and secure there.

Too often it is what we think is best for a person rather than what that person actually wants.

Can he see out of his window? Garden? Hear birds? Making him comfortable where he is with books, magazines, TV or favourite music

Please don't turn this into a battle for you both. At 91 he wont change now!


BRUMFH in reply to Bananas5

I really appreciate your reply. It is just knowing that his health will fail as he has been in hospital on a few occasions in the last five years that I just want him to be as well as he can be.

When he gets up and is in the dayroom he involves himself in all activities and seems happy.

glo42 in reply to BRUMFH

Difficult for you but I also think at 91 years of age that your Dad has the right to decide how he chooses to spend his day. If he is now contented and happy enough to stay in bed then I'd accept this and go along with his wishes. Have a TV maybe for interest and if he has a window then perhaps fit a bird box so that your Dad can see the different birds who will come and feed there. Relax yourself or your anxiety will be passed on. Your Dad may well change his mind and want to join in the day room activities, but it has to be when he feels the need. In the meantime, humour him. He deserves it. xxx


It sounds as if he lacks motivation to get up. He may not recall how good it is to sit in the lounge and join in. Maybe telling him which activities are being done on a certain day could help.

Is he happy at the home? Does he sleep well?

I feel it could be a mixture of just leaving him to rest in bed and encouraging him to get up and Join in. He’s 91 so may well just want to be left alone.

I wish your father well and hope things improve. Xxxxx



Of course, from a health perspective it would be the ideal if dad could be persuaded to get out of bed, but I can see it from his point of view.

Hopefully he hasn't given up on everything in life, but at 91 he's tired. Not only his body, but his mind too, and it's all too much of an effort for him.

I wonder if you can work on his mind, rather than his body. Is there anything at all that would improve his mindset a little bit and trigger an interest in living, a little bit more.

Unfortunately it's a bit of a trial and error to find out what might do it.

Generally as we age we get a longing for yesterday so the trigger might lie in the past. Looking over old family photographs together maybe, or playing some music from a time in life when he was happier, and focus on those things rather than on pleading or insisting.

It's easy to say, and hard to do, but try to spend as much time as you can possibly fit in with him, not focusing on now, but trying to conjure up a time when he felt happy and at ease.


My mother is 101 and doesn't want to still be here. Maybe your dad is tired and has had enough! Being old is no fun, aches and pains, difficulty getting around, nothing working as well as it should. I think you should let him stay in bed if that is where he is happiest, just try to keep his mind active, play games, do quizzes, etc. If he wants to get up, he will.

This is such a positive forum. My sister is especially close to this and wants simply the best for dad. She gets very upset and I am trying to give her suggestions, strategies and ideas.

It may be that we need to reconsider our why, to give him the best we can. He and mum were so devoted to raising their kids well and coming from a rural background they saw education as their way to enrich our futures.

We just want him to not waste the days left, however many there are.

Maybe we are overlaying our hopes and wishes rather than listening to him and discussing his perspective on his future.

Thank you again to everyone that has spent their valuable time to reply and hope this has also helped others in similar dilemma.

Bananas5 in reply to BRUMFH

I think you have realised that whatever happens it must be what your Dad wants. I learned this a long time matter what we would like for them, or how we would do something...we can not live that person's life for them. It may not be how we see things as a younger more active person who clearly loves Dad very much. Don't be sad but enjoy however he wants to spend his time


I agree with what everyone has said, I think you are worrying too much, if your Dad is happy leave him do as he likes, one thing though is he I. Pain that maybe the reason he's happier in bed, maybe have a chat about that, does he get up for meals at all

In 24 hours I have learned a great deal and it is thanks to your patience and honesty.

I have discussed these thoughts with my sister and we have a lot to think about. Sincerely, thank you x

PS I will let you know how we get in the next few weeks.

Take care

Hey there BRUMFH, I did a deal with my dad and now he gets up bout 11 and goes to bed bout 9. This means that he can have meals and can come join me in the garden if he wants to, or stay inside and watch to/use the time for reflection (at least that's what he says he's doing!) I can also keep an eye out for his fluid intake as he would forget. I explained to him how difficult it would be for me to keep an eye on him if he was upstairs and suggested that if he wanted to stay in bed/in pyjamas all day that maybe he should set up a bed downstairs? He clearly saw this situation as the face of weakness...hence the deal!

My partner is practically bedbound,and he wont sit out even for 5 minutes,but I dont keep on to him cause I think he feels safe in bed.

it is not the best scenario but I go along with what he feels better with.

I wouldn`t worry, my mum is the same, she has her radio on 24/7 listening to radio 4 and she`s perfectly content. Its pointless trying to make her get up against her will, her body and mind are tired and its a real struggle for her to get to the toilet even (won`t use a commode unless the time comes when she really has to she says) Mum loves her bed to be honest and after a lifetime of working damn hard at 85 she can do whatever she wants that makes her happy. Best Wishes.x

I am 82 and in reasonably good health fortunately. I live on my own (with two cats) in a busy village.

One thing that really really annoys me is members of my family (who live not far away) telling me I ought to do this and ought to do that! Get out more. Go for walks, get the bus to the nearest town, and various other good ideas. But I don't want to do these things! If I did I would do them!!

I don't doubt they are right, and more exercise might be a good idea, but if I don't want to then it is MY choice.

I hear you as I have the same problem with David,admittedly I have to use a hoist to get him out of bed for even commode duties and when I suggest he sit out for 10 minutes ,he wont,he insists on being back in bed.

I suppose he feels its his safe and comfort zone,he has had physio and I bought a gentle slide machine for him to help strengthen his legs,but no,after 3 uses he wont even try now.

I shouldn't even think it but i'm afraid he has become very lazy and wont try.

His working life was a Commander in the RN and of course he had people running around after him,and I think he now feels I am one of his subordinates,but no good me moaning,it wont change a thing.

The amount of aids I have bought to encourage and help would now fill a small room and already I have given many to charity shops.

One can only try,its the best one can do.

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