My mom refuses to take her medication unless she can have a cigarette. What can we do about this?

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My mom refuses to take her medication unless she can have a cigarette. She tells us she wants to die. We had to sell her car recently and she is not able to go and buy cigarettes herself. Her diabetes is very hard to control, she as COPD, kidney failure and she can hardly walk due to arthritis in her knees. She refuses to use a walker most of the time and bumps along the walls at home. She lives with my brother and we have home care coming in to help. I live nearby and take her to numerous doctor visits, handle her meds, and do all I can to get her out of the house to go shopping, to lunch, for a ride, etc. She has been depressed since we had to put her dog down in December and her doctor started her on Lexapro, which we thought was helping. We agreed to get one pack of cigarettes a week, but she smokes them all right away and tries to get caregivers to buy her more. Today she said she will not take her meds unless we get her more cigs and she does not care what happens to her - she would rather die than continue to be a burden to us.

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My mother smokes outside not in the house. Then don't let her smoke. Consider her quality of life.
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Well, there is this thing called lung cancer.

My mother was a lifelong ** I ** am-not-gonna-get-lung-cancer smoker. Six years after finally quitting she got the diagnosis. Goodbye Mom.

So despite what you think, with COPD the damage has not all been done.

When you consider the possiblity that part of the body's cleansing mechanism is based on fluids removing waste and delivering nutrients, and that body motion aka exercise contributes to that process, then a restricted mobility individual who smokes is getting a double whammy.
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My mom is 84 she has COPD,Kidney failure,Heart failure,Dimentia and a few other things. She also smokes and the doctors are always on her about quitting. I look at it this way if it something she enjoys then let her the damage is already done. When my mom remembers she smokes then she smokes just not when she has her oxygen on and I am with her 24/7 so I know she will not burn the house down.
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Yep, that's it exactly. She's always been pretty manipulative and now its all coming back. Looks like we've reached a compromise for now at least. She eats and takes her meds and then she gets a smoke. We hate for her to have any, but the doctor says the long term damage has been done and we should consider her quality of life.
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Geez, are we in hell or what? When do we say Fine, don't take your medication. sounds to me like she has most of reasoning skills and even some extra blackmail ones
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Kind of late in the game to stop smoking. Take her outside and let her smoke one cigarette per day...Everyone will be happy.
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Why not I cig for taking all her meds and if she does stop eating which she really probably will not do one cig after supper, Is there an organization in your area where you can foster a dog for a period of time if she sees diferent and does like the dog than she can adopt that one. You can insist that she smokes outside which is what many N.H.'s do.
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Yep, I think that she would rather die than go w/o the cigarettes. We did get her a puppy, but she still misses her other dog and isn't really attached to the new one. Just not sure what to do at this point. My brother agreed to give her a cigarette each time she takes her meds, but I have a feeling she'll just refuse to eat next. I know that the nicotine addiction is horrible and am hoping the doctor can give her something to curb the urge.
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Deb, Sounds like it's not so much that she'd rather die than be a burden to you, rather she'd rather die than go without cigarettes. Quitting smoking is awfully hard, and it doesn't get easier with age. My friend lives in a HUD building which just recently went all smoke free. There are 80+ year old people that have been living in that place for 20 years that are now willing to move because they can't smoke.
Can you get her another dog? Maybe having to take care of a pet will help. Good luck.
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Thanks for the suggestion. I have a call in to the doc.
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