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I just wonder what the best way would be to help my mom who is on various meds. for various conditions. She has so many to keep up with, and that's very understandable it could become difficult to keep up with. How can I help her with this without coming off pushy or implying she can't do it on her own? Her short term memory has gotten worse over last year, and one med she takes which is preginosone, she is prescribed 3 at one time. Which makes no sense to me, but two times in last couple months she has taken all 3 at one time to close to her other medication time. This scares me to death!! Accidental overdose could be easy if their is not some kind of schedule to keep up with it. Any tips or advice on how you all help your parents with meds. would be great to hear back!
Thanks so much, and hope all have a blessed Saturday:) Kelly

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the best method I'm aware of is the companies that deliver blister packs or other types of containers, with all meds organized and combined for the correct times, breakfast, before dinner, bedtime etc. Its not terribly expensive, I tried to get my parents to subscribe but alas, no go. My mom spends hours each week organizing her meds into the daily calender time boxes. I think she likes it actually. Always been a bt of a hypochondriac.

As dementia gets worse even the delivery service scheme for meds would be unreliable.
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Try pillpack website I've not used it yet but have bookmarked it for the future!
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Sunny and Blannie, you are so right! My mother was only able to take her meds on her own when she was in Independent Living. We had a neuropsych evaluation done and it showed Mild Cognitive Decline. The team who conducted this very thorough, several hour exam were of the opinion that she could continue to self administer, as long as someone else set up the boxes beforehand. My mom delighted in catching my occasional errors!

Sadly, she did not decline gradually but had a left hemisphere stroke which landed her in a SNF.
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I can see how someone with mild decline might be able to write things down and go by the list, but most of the AD patients that I have seen, including my cousin, can't remember to do that. They forget what the color means and even if they read it, their mind can't compute what it means. So, it's not helpful. And what they believe happened and what really happens, is not the same.

Probably one of the only ways to get a professional opinion about your mom's degree of progression is to get her a Neuropsyhcological evaluation. A neurologist can usually set that up with a referral. I saw your other post about this and will respond more to this on that thread.
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I'm with Sunnygirl on this one. If your mom has Alzheimers/dementia, she won't be able to remember to take her meds. My mom has short-term memory loss and I struggled with her and her medications. I'd call her to remind her to take them. She'd assure me she did, but she didn't.

What happened with my mom was she forgot to take her evening Warfarin/Coumadin for three days and got a clot in her leg that required an ER visit and follow up to a vascular surgeon. All the while she was assuring me she was taking them. At that point, I put my foot down and since she lives in Independent Living, I could have people come in twice a day (morning and night) to administer her meds. I fix them and they give them to her. We haven't had a problem since.

This is the first step in many steps where you will have to start thinking for your mom, because she no longer has the cognitive ability to think correctly for herself. She can't help it - which is what I tell my mom all of the time. My mom acknowledges her memory issues, but continues to make poor decisions because of it. I just have to do her thinking for her all of the time. This summer it involves me calling her to ask what the temp is in her apt. She can't remember (most of the time) to shut her windows and turn on her AC. So I wait while she does it. If she tells me she'll do it when we get off the phone, she won't do it. You will find more and more things like that with your mom. It's just a fact that you need to deal with. Hugs...it's hard to accept, I know.
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When my mom simply had "mild cognitive decline" I was able to get her three pill boxes, yellow for am, green for noon and blue for evening. I set her pills up in them once a week and she wrote down on a sheet of paper when she took each set of pills.
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Kellyb,
I'm not sure what level your mom is at with her dementia, but if you are seeing that she has problems taking her meds, I will say that it isn't likely that she will improve.

I know there are tools like reminders, notes, voice reminders, etc., but I never found any of that helpful with my loved one. The confusion usually prevents those things from being helpful. I know you are sensitive to her feelings, but with dementia, you may have to insist that safety come first. Normally, dementia patients don't step forward and say, I'm progressing and I can't do this on my own, Can you help me? Normally, they think they are fine and will go on with risky behavior, unless their care giver intervenes. I think I would say, "Mom, your medication schedule is complex. You need support with it and this is how we are getting you that support."

I would suggest a person go to her and administer the medication. I know that involves a lot, but any system that has the dementia patient in charge is not likely to work, because they simply cannot be relied upon to do it properly once they have progressed to that point. When the brain is not working properly, they may not read the box correctly. Trying to ensure they do it properly is just not realistic, IMO.

Perhaps, others have had better experiences with devices and tools to cue the AD patient than I have. When I would write notes, she would forget to read the note. When I would measure them out, she would forget what it was for and just think she didn't need it now. When I would call, she would lie and say she had taken it. When serious mediation is needed, relying on the dementia patient to be in charge is just rather risky, IMO.
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You don't have to be incapable to need help with meds. Heck, I need help with mine. Long before mom had dementia, she and I sat together every two weeks to fill up her pill box. I did it, really, but asking her to read the dosages on each bottle kept her busy and involved. It was part of our weekly visit done every other week. As mom became more forgetful, I called with a quick reminder.

When mom finally came to live with me, in addition to her regular meds, she was on two different eye drops with dosages separated by hours three and four times a day respectively. I programmed those into my smart phone worked great. Although I almost lost my mind.

I assume she has a pillbox with at least three separations a day for morning, noon, night. I bought mom two, thus the every two week schedule. It also let me know whether or not she was taking them.
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