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Mom lives in an independent senior living community and staff reminds her daily in person to take her aricept and Prozac that we load in a pill case. Recently mom took 6 Prozac in one day. We put a lock on her medicine case but I have been researching locked pill dispensers that distribute correct dosage daily but prices range from $159 to over $700. Does anyone have experience, recommendations or warnings on what kind is best or what to avoid? The staff at independent living only remind her to take meds they won't distribute them for her as they are not nurses. Unfortunately I am not able to distribute them to her myself on a daily basis and I'm concerned. Any advice or input is much appreciated. Thank you very much:)

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Uprooting is hard, Janeb, but being in Memory Care before you really need it isn't ideal, either. It is what it is.
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I appreciate all input and responses and am seriously looking into a memory care facility which I initially insisted to my older brothers but being attorneys that know everything( they love mom take care of her finances) they put her in an independent as opposed to memory care community therefore eventually having to uproot her as she declines and it breaks my heart. Once again hugs to all of you for bothering to share your priceless advice.
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Just for the record, Stellablue, I did not and do not assume Janeb is abusing her mother or that she doesn't care. The very fact that she is posting for advice is evidence to the contrary. I don't know, and none of us do, how experienced she is at dealing with the absurdities of caring for someone with dementia. Until someone has been around a while we may tend to err on the side of assuming little knowledge and offering information that they already know.

I am not angry and resentful toward Janeb at all. You, however, are pretty close to getting my dander up!
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Janeb711 you need not apologize to anyone I see by reading this thread nearly everyone assumes you are potentially abusing your mom or don't care for her which obviously you do. Last comment the person warned you that you could be commuting elderly abuse lol. Some offer good advice but all assume the worst of you and your dedication to your mom. I'll Msg you my email and direct you to less hostile forums. I believe you should deactivate your account these people don't care to help you or help your mom they are angry and resentful for the most part simply jaded. They must have seen some ugly stories in these forums and lost compassion for all caregivers and assume abuse is at play.
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My mum won't take tablets on days she feels OK and it can be a nightmare. I have to administer drugs to her and if I am not there someone else has to.

A small child died after visiting her elderly great grandparent in a nursing home over here many years ago after eating some red sweeties she found down the side of a chair - so making sure they do actually take them and then checking later that they haven't then spat them out and hidden them is vital.

Can I just mention something please? Even if your Mum has lost the ability or loses the ability to swallow meds you ARE NOT ALLOWED to covertly hid them in food UNLESS you have documented permission from a doctor and that comes following a review. Equally some meds CANNOT be crushed specifically those capsule type meds which are usually slow release - a different type of drug would need to be prescribed.

You can however crush tablets that can be crushed into food if the patient knows about it and knows you are doing it, once the ability of knowledge and awareness goes however you are back to needing permission.

Failure to follow those guidelines could result in a charge of medical abuse
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I want to apologize to sunny girl I didn't even spell imbecile correctly. This has been so stressful on mom and almost equally so on my siblings and our relationships. We have come so far yet no matter what I do I feel like it is never enough. We have contracted a reputable service called right at home and we settled the medication issue. Her problem wasn't in not taking them but in taking too many. Since she has not been happy since her husband died 4 years ago and now that she met this incredible friend Jason we haven't seen her this happy in literally years. Not until we exhaust all options and family friends nurses and caregivers can no longer help we will have to change her living situation but for now we don't want to uproot her as long as she is safe we want her to have quality of life as opposed to moving her just to make things easier on all of us. Much love and appreciation to all of you who responded. Bless you all and your loved ones:)
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Sunny girl I appreciate your concern you must realize a child reaching out for help in this forum appreciates input and hopefully I'm mistaking your tone but apparently I must have come across as a complete embicile. Of course we thought through all of these factors and wold never let her stray alone to a river or leave it up to her to take her meds. I appreciate your input but it's insulting that you would insinuate such incompetency on my end. I was hoping we could support and encourage each other. I have benefitted from everyone's advice but will not post again. Peace and love to all of you and your loved ones!
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Janeb711, It's great that she likes where she lives, but as you know, that cannot equate to keeping her safe or in good health. Are the nurses going to administer her the daily medications? If not, I would explore finding someone who will. Leaving it up to her, when you know she is not capable, creates a very serious situation.

I would explore other options for her future care as you state, but I would also keep in mind that unless her friends are capable of supervising her daily excursions, she may be in risk of going places near rivers, busy streets, etc. Her ability to judge what is safe will progressively go down. I wish you both all the best.
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I appreciate all of you for your invaluable input. I agreed nixed the pill dispenser idea. We live in al and alacare finally was approved by her insurance. They supply nurses to visit assess and treat mom accordingly. I appreciate all of you stressing the fact she will need additional assistance but we want to keep her where she is as long as possible because she found a great companion across the hall from her and she has rarely been so happy. She is excited about a theatre room and bistro being completed in 3 weeks. She has friends she eats with goes to prayer groups daily chair aerobics dancing on Thursdays along with friends and family visiting several times a week. Lately I can't get in touch with her as she loves to take walks to the river with her friends and feed the fish. As long as we can continue to supplement independent living care with nurses I really think she will have a much happier quality of life. I realize she may decline rapidly as you have all informed me and I have since been brainstorming on alternatives. The assisted living facilities I have seen seem so depressing compared to where she is now but thank you for telling me to prepare now as I will continue to do so while keeping her where she is as long as she is able.
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I agree about the pill reminder not working. I learned that with dementia, reminders, notes, bells, alarms, don't mean anything to the patient. They ignore it or forget what it's for.

What state are you in? In NC, med techs can administer prescribed medication in an Assisted Living setting. I can't imagine how those residents would get their meds if they didn't. Most of them have no idea how to take meds on their own, from what I observed.

I would explore other options for your mom. Probably in a different setting where they can make sure she is getting her medication. And as others have said, this is progressive and the other things that she will not be able to do independently will increase, such as bathing, dressing, etc.
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Hi Janeb711. My own Mother has Alzheimer's and I'm caring for Mum at home 24/7. At first this was all new to Me, but gradually I learned, because simply I kneeded to. Here in Ireland We Carer's get zero help or support. The first thing I discovered was that I kneeded to be there in attendance after giving Mum Her med's to ensure that She would swallow them, otherwise I would find tablets on the bedroom floor the next day.
Since Al/s sufferer's find it very difficult to swallow these large tablets, I crush the med's and I give to Mum in a large spoon of stewed Apple. Al/s
sufferers forget to take them, so some Person kneeds to be there with Your Mum.
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Some of the agencies that provide assistance with in home care, have a service component where an RN can go in and administer medication, etc. I'm sure it's not cheap, but it's a possibility if nothing else is workable.

Although the independent living staff can't give medication to a resident, could they not watch the person to make sure they take the medication?
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We went through several kinds of pill dispenser's when Mom was still living alone. One popped the pill out, one a day, and sounded a little bell reminder. Mom picked up the pill and put it in a little dish. We'd find five or six of them in the dish. Mom, why aren't you taking your pills? I felt good all those days and didn't need them. One buzzed until she took the pill out. She got on her hands and knees on the floor and unplugged it.

Sigh.

I guess what I am saying is that a person with dementia needs more than reminders or locked boxes to take pills correctly. Persons with dementia reach a point where they cannot live alone. Living in an independent living community probably extends the period a little, but that is basically living alone and you cannot expect it to be the residential solution forever.

Right now distributing her pills is your issue, and I sincerely hope you come up with something that will work for at least a while.

But long term a more structured environment will most likely be needed. That is just the nature of dementia.
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