Elderly Care: How do you convince an... - Mental Health Sup...

Mental Health Support

28,011 members16,013 posts

Elderly Care

isin13955 profile image

How do you convince an elderly relative that life is still worth living when you know that if you were in their condition you would also just want it to end?

11 Replies

I do not know in what the Relative finds herself in. At home I always found family photographs can help bring back positive memories of the past.Just try to talk to the person about what she enjoys, sometimes music can help especially if the person has a Dementia or similar.

It is very difficult in Nursing homes or similar they may have sing-songs this can up the mood and sometimes they may converse regards memories etc

In your case getting them to discuss the past, sometimes even reading to them can help. Talking to an Aunt, have you tried to discuss fashion, what they wore when they were young etc. It is very important to possibly get some form of interaction between you and possibly a third family member can bring back memories of the past and a positive reaction from your Relative

Do you have a positive interaction between the two of you. Some time OAP will love to play games, in Centres sometimes they play Bingo that seems to raise a mood. Crazy to say I am seventy now with a Memory disorder. I have my own interests as well. My Wife knows my interests so She knows how to rise my interests


keep reminding them of good times from the past but they can still create great memories in the future.

I don't have an answer. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother in the last year or so of her life. She had dementia and had been quite happy in herself until about six months from the end. she went through a period of asking to be allowed to die and then deteriorated until she s passed. if this is the situation you find yourself in then it is really difficult. It really made me question the balance between length of life and quality of life.

isin13955 profile image
isin13955 in reply to Gambit62

I think what you say is very valid. The relative is my 86 year old mother and I am 65 myself. She is in a partial care setting but because of current COVID-19 restrictions is unable to socialise, not that she particularly wants to. She is not incapable but has bad short term memory problems. Basically every day is the same as the previous one and she’s bored. She is fed up with her physical and mental short comings and everything just seems to be a struggle.

It seems in the UK everything will be opening up again soonCould you have words with Her carer to arrange some form of simple interaction that would help keep your Mothers interests and thoughts active

I know what my Short Term Memory is like, I find I can perform various tasks and that keeps me busy although, eventually I find myself forgetting what I been up to earlier in the day. It can be a good idea to work out, if possible how Her condition presents itself and trying different approaches may give some form of positive results. One of the main problems is boredom that can be addressed. In my case my days are quite busy, although mornings are a dead loss because of my physical health concerns

My last dealings with Dementia was an Aunt Lifting the mood did help it is just a problem when we need an open mind on ways to help the person. You will know her likes and dislikes. Try picture books on travel etc they do help me. Go through the books together, if interested in certain magazines or Newspapers that may help.. Music from her young days may also help


Thanks Bob all good suggestions!

I had an elderly relative who said to me one day " you reach a stage where you've had enough". As hard as it may be I think that we sometimes have to accept how someone feels rather than try to persuade them otherwise while doing what we can to give their life some meaning.

isin13955 profile image
isin13955 in reply to CDPO16

Oh I have accepted how my mother feels but try not to show it too much. My problem is that I am such an empath I almost become the other person.

borderriever profile image
borderriever in reply to CDPO16

The problem that many find is when someone says this, things may change next day. I have gone through so many situations like this and sometimes in many ways we need to be able to give additional support. At seventy now I do know how OAP feel and it is so very sad. The problem is who would you expect to perform the deed. Personally things do happen more than people realise and our feelings can be torn in so many ways. Sometimes even when terminal people can get that gift of another day.


Hi Bob, at 65 I’m not that far behind you which probably colours my judgement to some extent. I guess I feel, personally, that if the cons significantly outweighed the pros in my own life and there was zero chance of improvement, I don’t think I would be too enthusiastic about carrying on.

My mum does have better days and worse days and I do go to see her every day.

Yes its a good thing to visit and have a chat, sad to say I have seen some questionable situations over the years. I just feel that personally my life is not for my taking. So I always now keep my lips zipped until there is a situation where the Patient asks the Hospital when life is terminal. The problem is I have no rite to even suggest the final solution because I am not educated enough to make a call and I worry that these decisions are taken out of context and a serious error is made. I have seem this happen once ???, where the person actually rallied.


You may also like...