I have a elderly mother with signs of dimentia who is constantly fighting with my elderly father and accusing him of stealing her things. She is okay physically and refuses that anything is wrong with her, and refuses to take any kind of medication to come her nerves. What can we do to force her to take them?

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Thanks, Jeannegibbs, for your great answer,
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Oh my.

If she were in her right mind, I'd say it is her decision whether to take them or not.

But she isn't, so what can you do?

First, I assume that you know what these medicines are and that they are each intended to improve the quality of her life.

I've just read a book called "Living With Lewy" by Throop and Throop, which has a section called How to Medicate the Paranoid Patient. They suggest letting the pill dissolve in a little cool water and then mixing it with milk or coffee or ice cream sodas. (Do not use cola or tea.) Other methods are to crush the pill and mix it with applesause, yogurt, or pudding. Before crushing or dissolving, check with the pharmacist that those methods are OK for the specific meds your mom is on. The authors caution against physically forcing the patient to take the pill.

Accusations of stealing are very, very common in dementia. I hope that your poor father understands this and knows that it is the disease saying these things, not the woman he has loved all these years. This kind of paranoia can be very hard on the caregivers. It helps to understand a little about dementia and then to make an effort not to take it personally.

Because they don't think anything is wrong with them and also might be suspicous that someone is trying to poison them, the refusal of medications is so common that it is routinely addressed in books about dementia. Maybe you can take a little bit of comfort from not being alone.

If you don't have any luck with hiding the medications in pills, contact your mother's doctor for advice.

Good luck to you all!
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I would be paranoid people were poisoning me too if they kept secretly hiding things in my foods...
Please try a little research on Validation Therapy and how to communicate with a family member with dementia so that you are not increasing her paranoia and anxiety.
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Bribe her.
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