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I want to know is it abusive to make my mother take her medication even though she doesn't want too?

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I think the elderly are prescribed far too many drugs. Doctors frequently treat the side effects of one drug with yet another drug causing even more side effects. Taking a cocktail of drugs each day makes many elderly people lose their appetites and they become weak and frail. Some doctors have become like drug pushers and many drugs especially psychotropics can do great harm to the elderly. I would never force anyone to take a drug against their will
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I think all the issues have been pretty much addressed. the only thing that concerns me is the crushing of drugs and the emptying out of capsules .Here is a website that lists medications that should not be crushed and the reasons.
http://careingweb.utoledo.edu/drugs.html if that does not work just type in "oral dosage forms that should not be crushed"
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Flava272, hearing things can be a symptom of dementia. It also is a feature of other conditions.

Is your mother skipping a meal now and then, or has she suddenly stopped eating altogether, for a few days in a row? Is she having any new health issues, like a cold or the flu or a UTI? Does she seem depressed? Is she still drinking enough liquids (maybe with your encouragement?) I guess I wouldn't freak out over a missed meal now and then. If it is more than that, I think it is worthwhile to try to figure out what is going on.
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AlzCaregiver, I think that many elderly people are overmedicated. Partly doctors sometimes forget to ask whether a drug is still effective or needed. This is compounded if the drugs were originally prescribed by different doctors. And often the patients don't think to report the OTC drugs and supplements they are taking. So, yes, I agree that a drug "vacation" may be a very useful tool, under a doctor's supervision. (As you say, some drugs should not be stopped cold turkey.)

When my husband developed sudden-onset dementia with severe initial symptoms, his geriatrican took him off all drugs except the ones specially prescribed for his dementia symptoms. Over the course of several months his dementia symptoms improved greatly. Now instead of apparently being in an advanced stage he was in ealy stage dementia, and had a quality of life worth preserving. She gradually added back in the other medicines that could contribute to his quality of life. I think he takes about 30 pills a day (some RX, some OTC, all overseen by his doctor). About quarterly we discuss with her whether all drugs are still appropriate.

By all means, drugs should be evaluated regularly, especially as health changes and as we age. Often this will result in a reduction in the number of drugs. But not always. I would not want to give up any pill my husband takes right now. Pills are not bad. Pills continued beyond their usefulness or in spite of evidence they are not helping or are making matters worse are bad.
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pezara13, I think how hard you should try depends on your mother's age, her physical/ mental condition, and her reasons for not taking drugs. If she is fully competent to make her own decisions and has (to her) strong beliefs about the situation, then, yes, I think it is a form of abuse to trick her into taking something she chooses not to take. If her own ability to judge what is good for her is impaired and her "reasons" are clearly confused, then maybe a little trickery is in her best interests. I don't think there is a one-size fits all answer here. You know the situation. Make a decision in love, to fit the circumstances.

Best wishes to you!
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I also want to know if hearing voices a part of dementia.
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My mom has been living with me since 01-14 of this year and i'm so use to her eating 3 times a day seven days a week and one day she told me she wasn't hungry and i freaked when do i need to worry about her not eating. Don't get me wrong i could use a day out of the kitchen in fact several i'm tired but determine that my mom is not going to a nursing home. At least, not on my watch.
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A lot rides on what you mean by "make her" take her pills. Are you talking about physical coercion? What are the health consequences if she does not take the medication? If she is lucid, she should probably have a say in what she takes.

Recently I realized that my mother had trouble swallowing and was daunted by the little morning and evening cup with so many pills in it. I worked with her doctor to decrease her medications, staggered the vitamins and supplements so that she only has a few pills with every meal, and gave her "days off" which seemed to give her a sense of relief and control. So she no longer gets vitamin "D" or CoQ10 as regularly, but I think some is better than none at all.
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Really, see if a few can be eliminated all together. When it gets to the point that medicine taking itself is a battle,....well then, let's RX a drug to help combat the combativeness. Pills tend to pile up, with doctors prescribing another drug to help control some side effect of this tangled mess. I am wondering if the whole nation went on a drug vacation for three weeks....what would happen. Dementia situation improves dramatically, people more awake and alert. Such a simple solution and it costs nothing (less than nothing). Then reassess what really to take and what can be let go. Notice side effects as drugs are restarted. I have had great results with Mom doing this. She is now on NOTHING at all, cept tylenol. and I wish that came in a patch. Pills...ugh.
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My dad didn't want to take his medications because of their cost. We found ways to reduce some of the medication, get generic for others, change his prescription drug plan, etc. to help ease his worry.
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This is a good time, perhaps, to go on a drug vacation, with cooperation of her doctor. The protocol for this is called Beers Criteria. So many drugs you think are helping your elder, over time they build up in the body and then they become harmful. Psyche drugs that help quell anxiety or delusions work for a few months, then can backfire. Bladder control meds, cholesterol lowering meds, even Benedryl has an adverse effect on brain functioning) ... all can have adverse effects. So perhaps use this opportunity to reassess all the meds, try 2-3 weeks without taking them (some have to be weaned off...some have withdrawal symptoms) and note the reactions. Bet you anything that memory and mental functioning improve.

The gerontologist I heard lecture on this said that elders' kidneys and livers can no longer clear stuff from the body effectively, so changing from long term to fast-release versions is helpful.

And when you get to be very very elderly and frail, drugs like bone strengthening Rxs, because of the long term scope of its action, it just isn't necessary any more. Stopping it takes one more drug out of the cocktail.

The protocol for coming off drugs is called Beers Criteria or Beers list. Easy to find on the net. If the doctor does not know about this, find another doctor.

If your loved one is suffering from dementia, you may be surprised to find a dramatic improvement (or perhaps there might be a few troublesome weeks of withdrawal). So to help prevent the outbursts and fights, go with the flow for awhile. Say "we'll talk to the doctor about which drugs we can eliminate, ok?"
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I use pudding instead of apple sauce. I can't imagine how horrible the pill would be to eat it crushed, then to put it with something a bit sour...yuk! Do check with her doctor though, because some pills should not be crushed. I agree with all the other's. If she is able to tell you why she is not taking them, you can help her. If she is not in the right frame of mind to make good decisions for herself, then by all means, it is exactly like a child who refuses. If I felt that my mother needed the meds to live (she is not able to make choices) I would for sure find a way to get them in her food, drink etc... I am her care taker, so I take care of her. Good luck, this too shall pass.
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This is a hard topic... My Mother had a heart attack not even two weeks after my Father passed away last summer. She will tell you that she had a broken heart, which of course was true. She has been on medication of course since. It is been a real battle at times. One of her problems is that she wants to go to heaven and be with my Dad. They were married almoat 63 years. I have had to fuss with her several times to get her to take them. I always set them up in the planners for her every week. And sometimes remind her. I DONOT however force her. We have talked about what could happen if she does not take them. I have also pointed out to her numerous times that she is important to us and that we love her, very much. take care God bless...
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Sometime ago my mom used to "refuse" meds. Questioning "why" she needed them. We argued, I yelled, my husband yelled, but it was a daily fight. I began to "hide" her meds in food. I crushed bigger pills and opened up capsules and dumped into applesauce or pudding. It did work for me. I knew I was at the end of a losing battle,especially when mom was compentent enough to say NO!!! Since I commited myself as her caregiver, I felt it was my duty to figure out another alternative to administer meds. Mom needed her meds and refusing them would complicate her health. In turn, making me feel like I was neglecting her needs.
Talk to her doctor. Some meds can be prescribed in liquid form and some can be rectally given. Crushing meds is okay unless pill is Time Released. But her doctor can help you with that.
If your mom takes large number of meds, try to weed out those that might not be life-sustaining medications.(please talk to doctor first). Less pills might take away the overwhelming sensation seeing a bunch of pills in front of her everyday.Which she might be more willing to take only a few.
My mom finally came back around to taking her meds. But I always made it a habit and still do of giving meds to her in a sequence of importance to least. So if she refuses after the first few then I know that her "important " meds I at least got in her. I spent HOURS researching all moms meds determining how I should compile her meds. I based it on the life-sustaining first, then moved on to those that had greatest risks if she missed a dose and so on.
Lilliput is right to drop the subject for a while. If your not physically man-handling her then your not abusing her. Trust me I have fought with my mom over and over again about things. I felt bad yelling but I did it out of love for mom. I know if the role was reversed she would have done the same back at me.
Just take a breathe it WILL BE ALRIGHT!!!!
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I am wondering if it kind of is like a child, sometimes as a parent you have to give them medication with out them wanting it, but they need it RIGHT ! Best idea is to speak to her doctor and find out why she doesn't want to take it. Maybe it is making her sick to her stomach, or other side effects.
So, I would drop the issue and ask more in depth questions of why she doesn't feel she needs it.Then maybe think of other ways of giving it to her like in applesauce or in a smoothie just as long as she s getting it.
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(1)Permit me to address the issue psychologically/spiritually. When elders see their health and life purpose deteriorating , they are subconsciously desiring to pass over as quickly as possible and one way is to stop taking medication. Share with your mother that her decision to not take her meds is OK and end the conversation with "remember how much I love you."
(2) We never "force" any elder to take medication, however, with a bit of investigation we have found that some elders can not swallow pills without a cracker or toast.Try this to see if that is the problem.
(3) Crush the meds and put in applesauce.
(4)Contact the physician to see if the medication can be purchased in liquid form.
(5)Depending on what the medication is, vitamins or homeopathics can take its place for a short period and are often more acceptable to an elder.
(6) We have also found that cankers in the mouth or sores beneath dentures can stop an elder from taking meds or eating poorly.
(7) Does the medication cause stomach distress? A change of meds?
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If she is competent, there is really no way you can force her to take her medications. It is her right to refuse. Have you included her doctor in on these discussions? My Mom thinks that if a doctor says something then it must be true.
Why does your Mom not want to take her meds? Does she have a hard time swallowing them? Does she think that they are not working? What are the consequences if she stops taking them?
As far as "abusive" I am not sure what you mean by this. You can only ask or insist...you can't physically make her take them.
Sounds like a bit of a power struggle is going on. Maybe if you drop the subject for awhile, maybe she'll see that she is no longer pushing your buttons.
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