Vallialana Asked July 2015

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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Janeb711 Jul 2015
Hi this is my first post and I'm so thankful to meet others having issues distributing meds on a regular basis I hope we can put our heads together even though we face a variety of different issues. It is now 5:42 am I am so concerned about my 74 year old mom who is now living in an independent senior living community. I'll spare details except medication issues which I am desperately seeking help for. Mom takes 2 aricept a day And in evening one Prozac. My brother filled the medicine cases Friday night and a alacar even worker checks in daily to remind her to take her meds. Saturday I noticed 7 Prozac were missing and we suspect she took them all in 2 days. We now lock up her medicine and I have been researching medicine dispensers that only dispense dosages once up to 4 times a day if set according to dr's prescriptions. This way if we can't be there she will be protected from overdosing as the pill dispenser is locked except when the timer is set to distribute the daily dose. I have been researching prices that range from $159 to over $700 through an Alzheimer's association. If anyone has experience with such a dispenser and can recommend one or other advice I will be forever grateful. My mom is my life I feel I'm failing as I can't be there every day. I'll be up a little longer researching if I find anything promising I'll pass it along. Thank you for letting me join this forum:)
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Patathome01 Jul 2015
When I managed Mom's back injury pain in 2012, I manually wrote down all schedules for medications, checking off either yes or no if taken early, late, or missed, which rarely happened under my care. When Mom had to go to the hospital or visit her doctor, I had accurate counts for all administered medications.
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Patathome01 Jul 2015
MediSafe is a good idea to keep track of medications use when the caregiver must be away, such as at work. Unfortunately, I could not afford to pay for similar service because I was unemployed. So I relied on Kaiser and family to manage Mom's pain. Three years ago, I took care of my 92-year-old mom at home. After her back injury from a fall, I administered all scheduled medications, including those for pain because she could not remember when or how much to take. Every 15 to 30 minutes, Mom said she needed medication for her back pain, but her doctor advised taking medications only every 3 to 4 hours. I tried to explain to Mom. I used Vic's ointment to rub her back in between medications and it helped somewhat to ease the pain.
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Vallialana Jul 2015
I started using mymedschedule website to print a schedule and have my mom initial it. When she insists that she already took her medication, although it's still in the box, I can show her that she did not, it's still in the box, the inhaler is still on the counter, and she did not initial the paper. I remind my mom morning and evening to take her medication. I have the pills in the box, and the inhalers are on the counter. After she uses her inhaler, we put it back into the box the inhaler came in. Even though I am with her and giving her the medication, she still insists that she has taken it and won't take it again. The schedule that she is initials is helpbing, because I can point to it and show her that she did not initial the schedule, the pills are still in the box, and the inhaler is on the counter. Although she disagrees with me, I can get her to take it. I am going to look at the medisafe site now. Thanks for all of the input everyone.
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Doodlebug Jul 2015
I experienced the same with my MIL. She took several pills and had three eye drops a day as well. I started out with the weekly meds box and quickly moved to the daily meds box because there were always pills left. Dementia is an insidious thing.....they truly think they are taking their meds even when you show them they are not....even with the daily meds box, a huge sign on the fridge with times of day for the meds AND setting an alarm for those times she still didn't take them properly. She was in an apartment on our property some 100 yards away and I ended up going up there four times a day every day to check on her and to see that she was taking her meds. Home health got involved for the physical things mostly showering....and it was at their recommendation that she go into assisted living. It was the absolute best thing for us all. Where she would argue with me over the least little thing, there she was the " sweetest little thing" and cooperated with anything they asked. Go figure. But because there were several people taking care of her instead of just the one (me) she felt pampered and doted on and was very happy. So was I LOL.
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Vallialana Jul 2015
Thanks for all of the suggestions.
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SamIamW Jul 2015
Sunnygirl is correct about the med administration. Leaving it up to the dementia patient is not going to work. If this is a new situation for you, I totally get how you are still on 'auto-response' and feel that your mom is still able to do this. It takes a bit of time to adjust to not obeying your mother.:)

When your mom appears to be argumentative or accusatory about the meds, she's not. She's confused and really thinks you're mistaken. But you can't physically force her to take her meds. That's why I suggested that you call her doctor. They need to know what's going on for 2 reasons. 1) Her missed doses can be corrected 2) You don't get blamed for not seeing to it that she's taking her meds.

You will need to take control of the inhaler and monitor its use more closely.
Oh you'll have a discussion about it.... ;) no doubt. But if she's over-medicating; it needs to be stopped.

I made notes on my mom's medication chart for times she refused to take pills. That way - if a 911 call was necessary; I could give them accurate information.
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Sunnygirl1 Jul 2015
When the dementia has effected the memory to the point that the medications are being missed or mistaken, it's not likely that some strategy that relies on the patient's skill, action or involvement will work. The actions and reason that seem so obvious and simple to us, no longer exist with them. I wish you the best, but I would take over the medication administration or arrange for someone else to do it. She may not like it, but it's beyond that when she needs them to be able to breathe.
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Vallialana Jul 2015
Oh, she uses her rescue inhaler way too often because she isn't using the maintenance inhalers correctly.
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Vallialana Jul 2015
Thanks for all the replies everyone. My mom only has two pills a day, plus two inhalers in the morning, one in the evening, and her rescue inhaler.

I have her pills in the box, but she is accusatory, as if I am trying to trick her. I can tell she has missed her inhalers, because they have a number on them for each time they are used. I just found the site where I could print out her medication. It's kind of acheck list. I am having mom initial when she takes her meds, so if she questions it, it is marked with her writing. I just started this yesterday after making my post. She already wanted me to initial it for her. I said no, it wouldn't help for me to initial it. She will feel better if she see's it in her handwriting that she took it. I am crossing my fingers.
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