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Hoping someone can help. We have been caring for my grandmother and she has been experiencing short term memory issues. There have been issues with medication, so we have taken over giving it to her but she wants to be independent and doesn’t remember she took it and it’s a constant fight of yelling at us telling us we are lying, asking where her pill bottles are, on and on. Looking for solutions to help her be at ease and ease a bit of the fighting. Thanks for any help or thoughts!

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If gma is living alone, now might be the time to look into getting caregivers to come into the home to help her in shifts (which will include medication dispensing) or moving her into Memory Care Assisted Living where the medications are managed as well. There's no dealing with dementia, really, because they 'know better' and won't deal with common sense approaches to things. When my mother lived in AL, she was handling her own medications and doing 'a fine job of it', to hear her tell it. Until I'd go over there and find pills under the chair, in coffee cups in the cupboard, all over the place, in other words. That's when I was filling up her medication box every week to boot! She'd have it all confused and Monday's pills were mixed up with Wednesday's, and so on. That's when I knew she needed medication management from someone other than ME, who she wouldn't listen to. So I signed her up for the ALs program, and she wasn't happy about it, but the problem was solved.

I realize you don't have that option, but if paid caregivers were to come in to her home, that's a 'third party' person she'd be dealing with so the yelling & accusations tend to die down a bit, normally, with that scenario. I just don't see an organized pill box being 'the answer' either, due to the experience I had with it myself when my mother was starting down the dementia highway years ago.

There's never an easy answer to the dementia issues because they encompass SO many areas. Bathing, dressing, medications, food, cooking, getting into chemicals, the list is endless. As gma progresses down this road, she'll need more and more help with all of the activities of daily living *ADLs*. You'll do best to have a plan B in mind for when that happens. It's difficult, I know. My mother is 94 and now living in Memory Care and still fighting me tooth & nail & everything.

Wishing you the best of luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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On top of what Geaton777 said, why don't you try just bringing her her bottles at the time she's to take her meds, and then watch her as she herself takes them out of the bottle, with you watching of course to make sure she's taking the right amount? That way she will still feel like she has some control over them. It might make your life just a little bit easier, and one less battle you have to contend with. Best wishes.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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Same with my Mom. You will have to take control of the meds, maybe tell her that with a couple of different family members in and out helping that you guys think it will help you stay organized to get a daily pill dispenser.
Do not argue with her about her not taking her pills...she thinks she is, and it will just agitate her.
Have you read this? It helped me. http://www.dementiacarestrategies.com/12_pt_Understanding_the_Dementia_Experience.pdf

My mom started out being ok with managing a pill holder (like the link below) in the bathroom along with a ‘dementia clock’ but she soon lost the ability to look at the clock and match it to the pillbox date. It was unsafe. The new routine became me putting her am meds by the bathroom sink and the clock with a glass of juice, and a sign that said ‘please take me by 7:30 am’ each day. Her pm meds stayed in the pillbox and the pillbox was placed out at at her seat at dinnertime. https://www.amazon.com/AUVON-Organizer-Compartments-Supplements-Medications/dp/B088D74TQF
Routine is key. If you can, when you institute something new try to match her usual routine and she’ll take to it better. Then stick to that timing every day! I do recommend discussing her meds and any memory changes with her doctor if you think she is progressing, and make sure she’s been checked for a UTI. You may want to take a look at articles online about meds that are contraindicated for folks with dementia and discuss with her doctor if she’s on any. My mom was on Detrol for years, and shouldn’t have been.
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Reply to ElizabethY
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There is no way to fix memory loss unless your grandmother is being overmedicated or has a UTI. A UTI in the elderly can have no symptoms other than behavior/personality changes, especially if it seems the changes happened "suddenly". She would need antibiotics so that it doesn't turn into sepsis, which is very dangerous for her.

If she has dementia, again there is no fix for this. She will get worse and worse. She is not necessarily getting combative because of her memory, it can be a separate symptom of dementia. She needs to have an exam by a doctor so you know what you're dealing with. With memory impairment, not only can she NOT learn new things (like a change in when she takes her medication) but she is gradually forgetting things she already knows. My MIL forgot how to run the oven and microwave, two things she used her entire 80+ years. We'd put food in her fridge that she didn't have to cook and she wouldn't even look in there and then she forgot to eat and nearly passed out. She had to go into AL for her own safety.

Teepa Snow has some very informative videos on YouTube that will give you good insights into how to work with your grandmother and what to expect with dementia (if that's what she has). I wish you all the best as you try to help her.
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Reply to Geaton777
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