Every week I fix my mother’s pills box and she still can’t manage to take her medication correctly, what else can I do to make it easier for her?

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This is because she doesn't know what day it is and she lives alone with my help.

Answers 1 to 10 of 24
Once a week I separate my dads meds into easy open zip lock bags labelled monday am, monday afternoon and monday night and so on, (a version of what they do in nursing homes) I keep the bottles in a special bag with me, which prevents any chance of overdose or "self help". He likes not having to worry about refilling each one at the pharmacy, Thats all my job and its worth it to know that he is taking all that he is supposed to.
My mother experienced the same thing. We had the home helper remind her. She would respond yes and then get distracted. Then we had the helper who was there in the day time watch mom actually take her meds in the morning and then I would call around 9 each night with my cell phone to stay connected until she took her meds. Then, everything went downhill.
We had the same problem. Eventually we just had to start handing her the pills.

Someone did tell us about a product on the market to help. Some kind of electronic dispenser. It is supposed to make a noise or announcement when it is time for medication and open the right compartment. If the pills aren't taken in a certain time, it shuts it down so they can't take too much later. There's even one that hooks to their phone. if the pills aren't taken, it is programmed to call you.

Google automatic or electronic pill dispenser and lots of choices come up. Good luck.
Have one of those for Mom, but it's more of a reminder for me to give them to her. She has PD and advanced dementia. It's getting harder and harder to get her to understand taking the pills. If your Mom is having this much trouble, maybe she can no longer live alone. Take her to her doctor and see if she is in the beginning stages of dementia. You may need to have someone with her at least at pill taking time if that is her only memory problem. Depending on what she takes meds for, it is always best to get them on time. If she forgets and takes them late, then takes the next dose soon after, there could be a big problem!
The alarmed pill box is a lifesaver if you have your wits about you, otherwise, it's a good tool for caregivers.
I also had the same problem with my mom. She also is suffering from dementia. In the begining at her early stages she got confused, especially with the am pm pills, that is because she knew she had taken one earlier and really did not know the time difference. I finally had to get rid of the pill box, and just let her use the actual precription bottles and had her doctor adjust one of the pills to be combined with another. She know every morning to get up and take 1 pill out of each bottle. Now I do realize that there may be someone out there whose parent takes more than 4 pills a day but check with their doctor and find out if any of the medicines can be combined, such as fluid pill with blood pressure pill etc. If your parent is not capable of taking meds on own you really she have someone there daily to administer the meds. My mom for some reason even though she has this dementia sits down every morning at breakfast and reaches for her meds to take, she even knows when she is down to 2 pills its time to go to pharmacy. I have found out with dementia persons, wahtever routine they were in for a while they still try real hard to keep it. I know she will get worse and eventualyy forget altogether , but for right now I let her continue(with supervision) to take her meds. Good luck to you, but trust me, dont know whats up with the pill box but they dont work well for elders,Smile
One of my siblings, or I make a call to my mother every morning to tell her to take morning pills. Same method for eveing eye drops and bedtime insulin. Most times that works. It's more work on our part, but she is unable to remember otherwise.
I also taped a calendar to the table near the pill box and tell her to "X" out the day after we speak at night. This has helped, too.
We have had this dilemma with our Mom. Now it has gotten worse. She cannot remember when to take them and either forgets or takes multiple doses. She also likes to 'organize' her pills and pill bottle, dropping some, losing some, tucking some away and finding them later. We tried the electronic dispenser, but we are really past the stage where that is helpful. Now my brother holds onto the pills and dispenses them to her in the AM and PM. Very often, he has to allow her to 'organize' or rummage through the bottles before she will cooperate. Most of the time, Mom is in denial that she has any memory problems, and that we have to help her with anything. We have been paying her bills and caring for her in a very comprehensive way for three or four years, yet she still insists that she does all this herself and has never needed help, nor does she forget anything. She becomes combative and has broken down the door to my brother's upstairs apartment in an attempt to recover her medicines several times. We have considered giving her bottles with just a few pills in them or even placebos, but she still sounds quite rational on the phone and will call the pharmacy for refills, and again, she stashes and drops and loses pills and finds them later and takes them, off schedule. Has anyone experienced difficulties like this? We have tried everything we can think of or have read and researched into, but we would still welcome any suggestions. Her memory is extremely bad and she forgets any conversations and agreements after a few moments.
Sibling3, your medication problem sounds exactly like the trouble I have with my mother. In the past year or so, I tried to take charge of her medications. Once it resulted in her ransacking my room, threatening to kill the rabbits, and trying to hit me twice. Then she stayed up all night, told me to leave her house, and said she was going to have the police remove me.

After all that, I tackled things in a different way later. I took charge of her diabetes and blood pressure medicines by placing a bottle on the mantle that had the pills she was to take the next time. (She has 4 medicine times a day with different drugs.) But she would NOT let me take charge of her Ativan or Tylenol III. Her doctor told me to take charge of the Ativan, but it is not something I look forward to. She is an addict who takes a pill anytime she feels a bit stressed. I know things will go smoothly until the first time she wants to take that extra pill. Then it will get ugly.
leedee, forum policy does not allow the posting of urls that don't end in .org Usually any etnered will be removed.

Mother has never taken so much as a vitamin regularly, and the concept of taking daily pills is totally foreign to her. She was taking a pill for high blood pressure and we discovered that she had only taken a third of them when it was time for a refill. Why? "Oh, when my ankles are swollen, I take one. Otherwise I don't." We had a very hard time convincing her that they were supposed to be preventative and taken every day. She just did not get it. We have tried all kinds of pill boxes, reminder calls, visits from a nurse, etc. Finally the nurse got an elaborate electric dispenser. The first time it went off, Ma didn't remember what to do, so she crawled under the table and unplugged it to shut off the alarm. Not exactly a safety practice we had in mind! But eventually she learned how to shut off the alarm and remove the appropriate pill box. Sister 1 visited and saw three pill boxes on the table, with their content still in them. She asked Ma why they were there. "Oh, I think those are just my blood-thinner pills." "Um, yes, Ma, I think they are. But why aren't you taking them when you get them out of the dispenser?" "Taking them? Oh, I don't think I'm supposed to be taking them. Hmm ... maybe I should ask the nurse." !!! The next day Sister 2 was there. Four unused pill boxes on the table. That week the visiting nurse left a message that she had found 3 full pill boxes in the waste basket, and that Mother claimed to know nothing about it.

It is worth trying everything you can think of to help your loved one take their medications regularly. But I believe there comes a time when it is not safe for someone with dementia/severe memory loss to live alone. We are at that point with our mother.

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