Any ideas about keeping a parent on medication?

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Does anyone out there have some good recommendations for keeping a parent on their prescribed medications? My father (81) decided he no longer wanted to take his main depression medication and tapered it off. I've noticed some mood and anxiety problems, however, he continually changes his mind on whether or not he will talk to his doctor about it.

We moved him from WI to TX last Feb when my mother passed away so he has been adjusting to a very different life.

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This life change is not helping his depression. I can see why you are concerned. I'd encourage him to at least talk with a doctor about it. He must be fairly competent, as he knew to taper off the medications he was on. So, there's only so much you can do.

Try not to be heavy handed and he'll likely dig in his heels. However, if you can point out specific times when he seems most anxious and/or depressed, maybe you can eventually get him there.

Another idea is to get him in for a general physical and write the doctor a letter ahead of time, giving the history. Then, if the doctor brings it up, he may go with it.

Good luck. You are a caring person and this is hard to watch.
Carol
Yes, give your or his DR. a heads up on your concerns. Make an appointment that you can both attend and fax the DR. your concerns a week ahead of time. I did this with my mom. It was very helpful. She tried to make light of some of her symptoms and abilities, but the DR. was for warned!! It was a big help. We put mom's pills in a weekly organizer and she takes them every morning. The women who help us take care of her are very good about getting her to take her meds. Does dad live with you or is he on his own or in a facility?

Can you get him involved in a Senior's group? Most local hospitals and senior centers have a full program of activities. Reach out to your DR. to get Visiting Nurse to come and keep an eye on him too. Any change in his condition should make him eligible for services,; he does not have to have been in the hospital to qualify. I do this with my mom about 2 times a year. She fell and they were here in less than a week!! Good luck
Linda
It could be that the anti-depression med has a side effect that makes him feel uncomfortable. My hubby's doctor stopped his med immediately when he heard a description of the sensations caused by one med. He started him gradually on another one, and there has been no problem. Did you ever read the information that comes with the various medications your father is taking? Do you know that he needs all of these, and if they interact with each other in any way? Sometimes, just a change from AM to PM (or something similar, for instance) can make a difference in their effects. Of course, he may be on a course of meds several times each day, etc., and I'm not saying to change anything on your own, just question your own understanding as to the purpose, the need, the combination, etc. Sometimes the patient can be sleepless or sleepy, have vivid dreams, have dry mouth, so many things can make them decide not to cooperate. My mom is nearly blind, and I made one page for each med,indicating when taken, what the med treated, etc. I used giant writing with a black marker, drew a big picture of the item, etc. So it wasn't just lilke taking all the pills in the organizer, she actually knew what, when, why.
Sometimes the supplier changes the appearance of the pill, which she can notice and question right away. Finally, they just need to have an explanation why they need to cooperate and what the absence of the medication can do as well as how they can do better with it. He may feel more in charge. Our elders have made choices and decisions their whole life, and that generation accomplished so much, we must not take all their decisions away unless they are asking for the relief of that as well.
My mother takes medications in the morning,at lunch and in the evening. I simply take 3 ziplock bags and label them with the time. I then place the corresponding medicine in each bag, I usually put a weeks supply in each. Then I place a checklist with the date by each ziplock bag. My mother places a check by the date on the checklist. This helps me to monitor if she is taking the medicine correctly.
Thanks for the ideas and support. I have a consultation set with his regular doctor tomorrow to find out if he has much experience treating depression or if he would recommend a specialist. The medical records relating to my father's past depression treatment still haven't been transfered. He has been treated for this for close to 30 years.

The tips on different ways to help sort out the medications are also helpful. Once he is in a routine he seems to do pretty well. In the past when we had to add an antibiotic twice a day,I made a large print chart with the days down the left and the times to take medications accross the top. The medication to be taken was in the grid section. He could then cross off the blocks as he took the medication. I also printed larger labels for the prescription bottles as his macular degeneration makes it difficult to read fine print.

He lives in an assisted living/retirement apartment complex so he gets some social interaction with others a couple times a day.

Thanks again for the help!
Does he or she refuse to take them, or does he or she forget to take them. My answer would depend on your answer.
He decided that they were making him feel bad (I couldn't get him to expand on that) and phased the main one out. It has been about 3 weeks now, so this particular medication should have worked out of his system.
You can use a medication dispenser. The one I would suggest is the best on the market, TabSafe. It is truly a medication management system. You can see when your dad is accessing his meds via a website, change his doseage and more. This system is used in assisted living sittings, state agencies, and private residence. Their main distributor is Independence Technologies, website is www.ipreferhome.com. Wish you the best with your dad. Wayne

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