Does anyone have any creative ways to handle medication issues?

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My mom insists on filling hr own pill case with 8 different meds. She is very secretive about it and is always asking the Dr. if she can take less pills. he has just added a pill and I can't be sure that she is taking it. She has hidden the bottle so I cannot count remaining pills. Any suggestions?

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Jeannie i know you are very rescorceful and knowlegeable but one small sugestion that might save you time.
Why not fill the pill box anyway once a week then keep it out of sight.That way everything is ready to tip into her glass and you have saved yourself time.

Sherridene next time she pulls that stunt call 911 and send her off in the ambulance with a note that she is non complient and a list of all her meds. Give to the EMT as she will hide it. tell her you will come and get her when she has followed dr's orders but other wise she can sit there. (You can actually do that you won't get arrested or anything)
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Mom uses a nebulizer for asthma/COPD. She will not complete a treatment. She takes what she calls "sips" and then she will have an asthma flare up and end up in the emergency room. We ended up at the hospital on Christmas Day because she was Having trouble breathing. (I have a nebulizer for her at my house but she wouldn't complete a tx). We ended up strapping a face mask on her and restraining her to get the medications into her. She kept telling me to get the mask off her and that she hated me. My brother would not take her to the ER and would not stay at my house so my 14 year old daughter would not be alone on Christmas. Not how I wanted to spend my day. Felt very abandoned and frustrated. Daughter was very understanding (great kid) but I still feel guilty about it. I have talked to her doctor about this but she insists that she finishes her nebulizer meds. Not true. I have tried to sit with her to force her to take the meds but as you all know dementia patients are stubborn.
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My answer is say ..i am not tryin to take over but help you because i know you want to take your meds right and not be sick. Again the.issue of feeling they have lost control of.their life.
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My dad managed his own medications until I found out how he was filling his pill box. He had been in the hospital and had been prescribed another med so I went to reorganize his pill box. I had the pill box and I had all the bottles and I could not make heads nor tails out of what the heck he had done. Instead of filling the box according to morning, afternoon, and evening, he was organizing his pills so that he'd run out of all of his scripts at the same time, thus being able to get all of them refilled at the same time. Plus, he filled them horizontally as opposed to vertically. I can't even explain it here so that it makes sense but suffice it to say I took over his medications right then and there.
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One thing that might allow her to feel in control is if you can find a pharmacy that bubble packs pills by dose. There is one pharmacy here that does this. Each time of day is in a separate bubble. If the physician changes anything, the pharmacy picks up the medication that remains for the month and makes the adjustment. They do not charge for this service explicitly. They may not be the cheapest source for prescriptions in town.
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My mom went through that....
I explained to her that drugs of any kind can cause reactions and problems as we age despite how long we have taken them.
I further explained that as she lives with me I needed to be familiar with her drugs, the dose, the timing, the effects they had on her etc. in case of emergency.
There were drugs my mother decided NOT to take. I told her that if that was her decision I needed to know why so I could back that decision with the doctor.
Many of the pills her doc prescribed were not necessary and not helping.
She was correct.She now takes 1 pill a day, her mood, bowels, everything is better.
She wasn't wrong not to take the pills and her health has improved.
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luigispen, you have my sympathy. I went through this for 2.5 years. Medications is the biggest control issue for many seniors. Trying to help them can cause a lot of anger and make them retreat even further with their medications. What you'll have to do is find a way to work with her in a way she will allow. Every person will be different.

My mother would not allow a pill dispenser. She said she would smash the thing with a hammer if I brought one in, but she was making a mess of taking her medications. I let things ride until we reached crisis points caused by the drugs. Then I would take charge of the medications one by one. She would allow me to put her dosage in a bottle on the table, then she would take it with meals. Now I manage all her medications. It have to put out the pills three times a day, but it works for us. The way things are now I don't know if a pill dispenser would work for her. She is very good at ignoring things like that.

I think that knowing your parents and what will work for them is important. It may not all happen at once because of control and trust issues. We can do what they let us do when they let us do them. We have to keep our eyes open for the moments of opportunity to step in.
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