My mother is not senile (yet), but we are having the hardest time making sure she takes the medications that her doctors prescribe for her. She has a tendency to stop taking something if it has a side effect she doesn't like, without discussing it with her doctor or letting anyone know she's not taking it. We constantly have to follow up to make sure she's taking each of her prescriptions and that she asks for renewals when things run out.
This week I took her to the doctor twice because she has a respiratory infection that started veering towards pneumonia even after the first round of antibiotics was prescribed. On the second visit the dr. prescribed a stronger antibiotic as well as a steroid to reduce the inflammation in her lungs. The doctor told her in my hearing that if she develops full-blown pneumonia she will have to be hospitalized, and I know that isn't what she wants.
Today my sister called me to say that my mother had decided not to take the steroid after reading the insert about possible side effects. (I had spoken to Mom on the phone an hour earlier and she didn't mention this to me). My sister stood over her with a glass of water and refused to leave until my mother took her pill.
On the way home from the doctor yesterday, my mother told me again that she didn't want to take her iron pills any more because they make her constipated. I reminded her yet again that the reason she had to take the iron pills was to avoid having to undergo another course of iron infusions, which was ten treatments given 2-3 times a week at her nephrologist's office. That was a royal pain for everyone, including her because she had to guzzle water all day to keep her veins open enough to allow the infusions. Finally she agreed, reluctantly, but I just know this is not the end of it. It never is.
Do any of you have parents who do this kind of thing? How do you deal with it?