Does the person you're caring for insist they've already taken their medication even if their pill is still in the box?

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My mom has frontal lobal dementia. I fill her pill box once a week. She only takes a thyroid pill and an acid reducer. She also uses two inhalers in the morning and one in the evening. She has a rescue inhaler that she uses too often, because she insists that she has used her maintenance medication, although she clearly has not. I can tell by the numbered puffs on the inhaler.

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I have to hover over my mother to make sure she takes her medication. It is one of the main reasons that I am needed here. She has some form of dementia and can't remember to take her pills. A pill box doesn't work with her. I have to put one dose at a time out for her, then remind her to take them... then remind her to take them again.

I think of how nice it would be if she didn't have these health problems -- hypertension and diabetes -- that can't be ignored. This is one of the reasons my mother can't live by herself.
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There comes a point with dementia patients where somebody else has to hold onto and administer the meds every single time, every single day.

My mom had 19 meds she was on when I took over her care. They were so mixed up Lord only knows what she actually had in her. In her apartment, we added the med nurse service to setup pillbox once a week.

I visited her once to find pills all over the floor. She got mad at the pillbox and threw it at the wall. If anybody ever moves that fridge, they're going to find some $50 pills.

Then we added on the lockbox service with twice daily administration. The nurse would put her pills in a paper cup, set on a big yellow target. Mom still had to independently take them and swallow them. She got to where she wouldn't do it while the nurse was there, and then was not doing it at all.

That was one factor that disqualified her from independent living. She needed more help than you get in that unit. Other things happened, and mom ended up in the 24/7 skilled nursing care unit where she had to take her meds. It was much better for her when she had the right meds at the same time everyday - like it or not.
Every single day. Two times a day.

I have totally taken over the administration of her pills. I take them out of the pill minder and put them in a small bowl. She takes them, but has to argue first.
I know what you mean, txcamper. Mine doesn't argue, but says, "I don't know why I take these. They don't do any good" almost every time she takes the pills. It's all part of the ritual.
My mother would tell me she'd taken her pills (blood thinner) in the evening until she missed 3 days in a row and wound up in the ER with a clot in her lower leg. At that point, I started getting people to come in 2X a day to giver her meds. She'd insisted before that she didn't need help. She DID.

So don't wait until there's an emergency -- get something set up where someone without dementia is making sure she's taking her meds on a daily basis.
Mom will ask "have you given me my 8 pm meds"...um Mom you take your meds on odd hours...not even....7 am, 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm and then bedtime. She will ask us every night "Did I take my meds"? Yes Mom you did. We write it down when she takes them. They are in pill minders and I fill them up once a week.
I have suggested to my mom that she start using PillPack service, which sends your Rx in dosage packets on a roll with date and time dosage is to be taken printed on each packet. Right now she has them in the pharmacy plastic bottles and dispenses them herself, which I witnessed was pretty hit-or-miss. She has 3 pills that look almost identical, so gets very confused about what she has/hasn't taken. On her last doctor visit her doctor had specifically told my sister she needed to take responsibility and handle the dispensing, but my mom seems to think she can handle it herself. Pillpack sends the Rx's in pre-packaged dosage packets sorted by date/time the dosage is to be taken. I think it would be a great service for her, but getting her to change anything is like moving a mountain. Then there is the problem of her taking some of her pills, setting the rest aside to take "later" and then she forgets about them. She really needs someone to watch over her now at 86, but I live out of town so can't be there except for visits. I wish I could be more involved in her care, but my sister likes having all the control. So even suggesting Pillpack to her would start a big power struggle...sigh. I am not wanting any "power" I just want what's best for my mom, but my sister sees everything as a competition, so any challenge to her control gets her on the defensive.
Jessiebelle, that's what I mean by argue. Just always got a comment to make.
(Chuckle) A few minutes after I wrote about it this afternoon, I told her to remember her pills. She said, "Why? They do any good." She probably wondered why I started laughing.
MediSafe is a free app that I use on my Android. It helps with medicines, dosage, and time. It does the thinking for me! Check it out!

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