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Good evening. My mom is 67 yrs young. She has horrible short term memory. She has suffered from Epilepsy for 50 yrs. Her memory has been bad for as long as I can remember, but the last few years it has gotten much worse. She does not have dementia, but if you didn't know her you might would suspect she was in the beginning stages.


Here is my problem: she double doses her meds sometimes! I ALWAYS prepare her meds in the plastic minder bins. One box AM M-S, PM M-S. I put the pill bin in a plastic storage box that latches. There is a note taped to the box " Mama LOOK at the DAY on the CLOCK before you TAKE MEDICINE. Do this for me. TOO much med is dangerous!"


I purchased her a clock from Amazon that shows the Day, Time, Morning, Afternoon, Evening. It also has an alarm, which I have set for 8am and 5pm.


Today at 7 pm she had already taken Thursday AM meds.


I am at my wits end. I don't know what else to do. She does not belong in a facility. I can't afford an aide every day. She doesn't meet the ADLs for Medicaid to pay for an aide. I do pay an aide 2hrs 2 days a week. I have to work, I can't go over there twice a day and dispense her meds.


When she double takes meds, it makes her "drunk". She literally falls and I worry that it will eventually kill her.


Please, anyone have suggestions.

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I understand the problem.  I had it here, too, and she was living with me!  She was an RN, so she insisted she take the pills from their original containers after carefully reading what they were .  I also put each pill she took in a.m. on a photo-copier, and wrote what each one was.  I watched her put each pill on top of its picture, then take them all.  She did well on her own with this for nearly a year.  Suddenly I realized the pill amt. was not right in the bottles.  She'd been double dosing.  She kept the pill pictures, put I took away the containers.  Yes, she was upset, but it was necessary.  Next I got the containers for each day for the week, and let her have in her medicine closet only one day's container.  Later in her dementia she refused to take them unless I stood there.  She'd drop them down the back of the recliner, tried to feed them to the dog (who thank God didn't like them).  I wasn't ready yet for her to have a nurse, so I let go of what I could not control.  Hard to do.

This whole caregiving is a series of finding solutions to the ever-changing problems.  As soon as one was solved, or a routine established I thought I could count on, it all changed again, and again,.......

Good luck with your mom.  AL and later even Nursing Home were less expensive than the home care alternatives after awhile.  Round-the clock care became essential, and my health needed help also.  I'm 72.

Big (((HUGS)))
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
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gdaughter Jun 1, 2019
Oh Grannie...you are creative and masterful! I count my blessings because of living with my folks, I can be the on site dispensary LOL. No batteries needed! I just have to remember (!) to put mom's in a custard cup at night before I go to bed so she can get it in the AM. And all she takes is a half of something for BP. But your story reminds me of the time I knew I had to take over being the controller...because the dementia slipped in we did not yet know what we were up against. And there we were at the airport for their last trip to visit my out of state sibling. Mind you I had already thoroughly, I repeat, throughly gone through the entire house and taken every damn pill bottle there was to be found. ANd there we were at the ticket counter, and prior to going through the TSA checkpoint I did my own search of the carryon bag she had packed for herself. I nearly died: A WHOLE BOTTLE of her BP pills were in there! When I asked where they came I believe her response was "THEY'RE MINE!!!". LOL ANd then she also told the counter agent that I couldn't wait to be rid of them. I still laugh about that one...
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Hi Ipromised. So stressful I know. Is there a neighbor that you could ask to stop over your Mom’s when you cannot be there to dispense meds? I have to ask, how do you know she does not have early signs of dementia? With memory getting worse and visual cues not working sometimes? Is your Mom struggling with other things? Bill paying? Driving? Keeping up with household chores? Hygiene? It’s all very difficult to face I know. I’m caring for my Mom and struggling badly today myself.
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Reply to Sweetstuff
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Ipromised May 30, 2019
The neighbor idea is a good one. I failed to mention, my mom is also very moody; always has been. I did have a neighbor giving her her meds up until about 2 years ago and mama snapped on her, making her cry. She called me later and said she loved mama, but she just couldn't be responsible for mama's meds.
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Anytime someone has a neurological problem, which epilepsy is, they may end up with Dementia. Since your Mom has been dealing with it for 50 years and she is 67 I would say she probably has it. Next time she goes to the neurologist, have him/her test her. The next thing is ask the doctor if meds can be taken all at once. Tell him the problem you are having.

Phillips has a pill despenser that is really neat. Its been awhile since I have seen it demonstrated but I think the cost maybe worth it. It is locked and only u will have the key.

If I remember correctly, it holds 10 days of pills and dispenses when needed thru out the day. Each set of pills is put in a little container. At the time they are to be taken a voice comes on and says "time for your pilks" the person pushes the button and out pops the pills. If they don't push the button after a couple of tries by the voice, u will be notified.


https://www.lifeline.philips.com/pill-dispenser/health-mdp.html
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Reply to JoAnn29
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We purchased a locked medicine dispenser kit for both my mother and father in law. It has a light that flashes along with a beeping noise when the Medicine is being dismissed. It was a huge help! I found it on Amazon. I also purchased extra trays so I could prepare their meds in advance and be able to quickly replace the empty tray with a new one. I highly Recommend! It kept them from double dosing As well as reminded them when to take their meds.
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Reply to Maria5808
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It is not realistic to request a volunteer from a senior center or a neighbor go into a person’s home and assume medication management from a stranger. What happens if they make a mistake?

I would still seek out other options.

Aides cannot dispense medications (legally). The aide can point to the medication mediplanner and ask that the person take the meds at that time. And legally aides should not be filling
mediplanners either.

Would mom be eligible for a 55+ Community that has an attached health center? Or an AL with medication management services provided?

Medication mis-management leads to hospitalization. Can you speak with her providers and get meds that need only one dose per day vs twice a day? This is a hard situation as many other seniors have this as a potential problem as well.

Good luck to you!
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Reply to Shane1124
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gdaughter Jun 1, 2019
You nailed it!
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When you say your mother does not belong in a facility, doesn't that rather depend on what sort of facility?

Your mother cannot safely manage medications. Take them away from her. Do you or does anyone see her every day? Depending on what the medications are, it may be possible to change the formulations to modified release of some kind so that she doesn't need two visits.

I strongly question the assertion that your mother does not have dementia. Fifty years of epilepsy treatment would make her more, not less, vulnerable. Has this actually been investigated?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I think when you say she doesn't have dementia you are probably thinking dementia = alzheimer's, she may not have that but is definitely cognitively impaired and I think her neurologist should order a full assessment of her abilities so you know where you stand.

Thinking of work around solutions, there are pill dispensers that won't open until the appropriate time, like this one

https://www.alzstore.com/electronic-pill-dispenser-p/0032.htm

Also, people have also been using personal assistants like Alexa to help monitor their loved ones and to set reminders.
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Reply to cwillie
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I discovered an alarm controlled daily pill dispenser that has saved my sanity. I bought it off of amazon. I fill the compartments weekly, but it has an alarm and dispenses only the medication for that day and time. I spent about $100 on it and had mom’s doctor write a letter stating that it was a necessity and was able to write its cost off as a medical expense on her taxes. It has been both a lifesaver and a sanity saver.
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Reply to MaryMagen
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A number of people have mentioned the locked medical dispenser which I highly recommend. I will add that my father’s is provided through our local elder services. I requested it through his case manager when he started double dosing. His alerts me if he does not take it within 90 minutes of the scheduled time so it is also another safe guard that is in place. It isn’t perfect because I will sometimes go over in the am to find that his night meds are dispensed but still sitting in their containers, not taken. But I figure nothing is perfect and this makes everything measurable. I also added a simple paper that has the days of the week on the left and am and pm divided off at the top. I keep a pen on it so he is to write down the time that he takes it. It’s just another step to help keep him oriented and guide me if there’s a screw up. Good luck on this crazy journey so many of us are navigating. I’ve gotten so much help and ideas from this website 😘
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Reply to pagh8264
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I also moved my parents to assisted living because I was afraid of falls and worse people taking advantage of them. Solicitors knocking on the door or calling. They bought a lot of stuff they didn't need, refinanced their home, put in new A/C, all kinds of stuff I just couldn't control. When I did the expenses including the loss of money assisted living would be a savings! They are both suffering from dementia so it's one day at a time but for the most part I know they are being well taken care of and not missing any meals nor pills! They can do their own laundry if they want or have it done for them. Best of all they kept their cat and dog so they are happy about that. Worse part is I had to take the care as they keep getting lost and don't know where they are going or where they have been. The Assisted living has a shuttle and keeps everyone entertained with day trips and social hours.

Good luck to you, it's a very challenging roll taking care of our parents....who knew we'd have 80 year old children.
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Hickmalj Jun 1, 2019
Same here joybeth . My mom is at an AL now and I’m so thankful we can afford it for awhile and hope we will able to qualify for Medicaid later . My mom will say she doesn’t have a dr and hasn’t seen one in years snd she never takes medicine —— well no she didn’t because they were lying all over her house where she’d not take them ! She eats so much better , they administer her meds , keep her orientated , activities . Yes , she did get better after she was there because she’s doing what she’s suppose to be doing now . If she had been willing to not be so stubborn at her home we could’ve managed for her to stay a bit longer but the same thing : buying everything Ect . I don’t care a bit about the “ inheritance “ would rather spend it all on her knowing she’s taken care of and I’m not a spring chick . If something happened to me everything is taken care of for awhile . The past two years every month something has come up in which I’ve said that it was the hardest thing I’ve had to do and yet something else happens . Her husband passed after dealing with all his issues and I’ve moved her to the AL snd now getting rid of everything she’d ever worked for . Wow . Really hard .
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