My Mom has difficulty setting up pills, but outright refuses help. What can I do? - AgingCare.com

My Mom has difficulty setting up pills, but outright refuses help. What can I do?

Follow
Share

I find pills on floor she has dropped. She refuses to wear a medic alert. I feel she is just an accident waiting to happen, but refuses to admit she needs help.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
16

Answers

Show:
You don't say that your Mom has dementia or Alzheimer's...... I have just had to purchase a small safe to keep my mother's medications in. My Mom was hospitalized for 8 days to have gall bladder surgery and then she developed arrhythmia so she had to remain in the hospital. While in the hospital her dementia grew much worse due to medications they were giving her to calm her down, however it was working in reverse and making her worse.

When we came home Mom's medications had changed and they had added Seraquel. I was watching her like a hawk and yet I turned around and she had her bottles of medication out and had Seraquel in her hand ready to pop in her mouth. I was alarmed and immediately removed the medication from her, which she fought me over like crazy! At this point I don't give a d--n my dear, I am not going to sit by and watch my mother overdose on pills, nor go through whatever might happen to me or my sister when someone tries to prosecute us for Elder Neglect!

As kids we do not want to make our parents mad, so we don't stand our ground and tell them that we understand they think they are okay to handle these matters but they are not, therefore for their own safety and our peace of mind, we must now help them, by performing this task for them.

I have put Mom's pills into her daily dispenser for years and never really feared that she would go into other medications and randomly take them.....until a few days ago. When you live with your parent you notice all the changes that are happening with them more readily than when you just stop by to visit. There is a decline in their cognition and you have to be ready and watchful.

Try to explain to your Mom that you love her and you need to due this for her to put your mind at rest.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Mom refused until the VNA (visiting nurses assn.) gave her the 7 x 4 box. She wouldn't fill it so I did. She continued to fiddle with the Rx bottles, even putting pills back in. I brought this up in front of the nurse, and she agreed that I should hide or lock up the Rx bottles. Mom said the pills didn't look right. I reminded her that generics look different every time you get a refill. She complained to her son. He told her "leave the damn pill bottles alone!" Sometimes she does miss a dose, but I report it to the nurse. OH MY she does not want to be a bad girl for the nurse! So after a few months of push and pull, she uses the pill box, and she has an alarm clock that rings at 8AM and 8PM to remind her. So far it works, but expect a lengthy transition.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My Mom was having trouble filling her pillbox (she takes a LOT of different medications) and actually asked me to help her with it. I got her the one month box with an alarm. It's great! All of the individual boxes have room for breakfast, noon, evening and bedtime pills. One end is green and the other is red. Both ends have the day of the month on it. When the pills are in the box in the container, it is in the container with the green side up. After all the pills are used in the box, you replace it in the container with the red end up. It's a visual reminder of what day it is, and when the box needs to be refilled. It has worked fantastic for us, although Mom has never used the alarm (she didn't like being told when to take her pills). The really thing is that when we go out, she can take that days pills with her in her purse without having to switch to another container - it fits nicely. It's been a great system for us. It does take awhile for me to fill one months worth of pills, but it also lets me know in advance when her pills need to be refilled, so no more mad rushes when she runs out. Now I write it on the calendar a week in advance, and she's got plenty of time to get them ordered.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mum is diabetic and now dementia VERY dangerous. I have now decided to take control of her meds as this is so dangerous. She was taking 40units of insulin instead of 30 she was convinced it was 40 until the doctor told her it was so dangerous. She keeps saying stop treating me like an idiot so I say STOP behaving like one. Im easy on her little cakes and diet BUT never on her meds when Im hoovering i find pills under the coffee table and have just had enough of the stress so I have to control this. I am living with her though so ok for now lucky her meds are one once a day and insulin twice but this is going to get more tricky.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom was not taking her medication well and refused help. I bought the container and suggested this was a good way to track her meds. Eventually she let me fill it in, it took me months of persisting, and she agreed only after a hospital stay that resulted in some changes. I visit and make filling it one of my chores while I am there. I just kept asking, expressing interest, she would admit to forgetfulness, so I used that as an opening. I wore her down, or she realized I was suggesting this for her own good. My mom is forgetful, and can be headstrong, she does not have dementia nor the lack if reasoning associated with it.

She looks forward to my visits, I bring pastries. We chat, I fill her pill box and review her mail, her bills, she actually looks forward to it now. The 7 day box committed me to visiting her a minimum of once a week.....hence she likes it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Could you fill pill bottles with tic tacs, smarties, other little candies and let you mom fill her own pill boxes any way she wants to. It won't matter whether she does it right or spills them, nothing to worry about. Then you make up the real portions and keep them where she can't get to them. Never let her see them at any time. You can ask the pharmacist to make sure, but if it's okay crush the tablets or open the capsules and sprinkle the meds on food or put in juice. It got to where my mom couldn't take pills and this is what we do. Also know that with dementia and aging this phase will pass. Sometimes I look back at the times my mom still had some fight in her and feel sad that she doesn't any more. Thanks for being so concerned about your mom. I think the fact that you are watching out for her will help keep her safe and healthy. Like vw9729 said you shouldn't feel guilty if something happens that you can't prevent. xxoo to you both!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

More times than not, a family member will only make the patient more determined not to accept help. Get a neighbor friend to try and explain and show how to set up the pill dispenser.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

And to respond to not wearing the medic alert necklace/bracelet and otherwise the parent refusing to follow safety issues in their own home....I have been through this...while worried about having the POA and living out of town. When Dad was home, we had times that police had to be called to do a welfare check because I could not assess via phone, or they were not answering, or they were fighting and loud and neighbors were concerned. I talked with attorney about what my role was regarding keeping them safe and in their home. I was told that I could not be legally liable if I had arranged home care, the necklace, had a case manager and other ways to get them assessed quickly when I lived out of town. I was told these things were necessary to avoid having someone call APS and then APS taking over control if they were found unsafe. I finally had to explain to both of them, that they had to have the in home caregiver come because the police had been called too many times....(most of the time called by ME...but I didn't have to say that!) and that if APS were called in by the police, they would not be able to stay in their home. They both did NOT ever want to be taken out of the home, so they finally accepted that the caregiver coming was to help assure we had a plan that showed they were safe to be there in their home. Mom, alone now, won't wear the bracelet either, so I am in process of upgrading their home alarm system, so I can see via computer that she is in the house and what she is doing...and so she does not have to manually alarm the house, but it will automatically be activated or deactivated simply by her locking or unlocking the door. If she leaves and forgets to lock the door, I get notified via email/computer and I can lock the door from here....in a different town too. It's quite good! And at least I have done what I can do for now...to keep her safe, and me legally OK. Eventually, like with Dad, it will come to her having to be placed somewhere, or have the caregivers in with her. Sad that their lives have to end this way, but there's no other good answers!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

We went through this with my Dad, when he was at home. He would NOT allow Mom to help him at all. IT got to where it was taking him over an hour to fill his pill container, after we got him one of those mentioned above, where the week's supply could be set up weekly. We had our RN daughter, when she lived in town, drop by weekly to set up his meds and then one of us would communicate by phone with mom about whether he took each dose or not. If not, we would get him on the phone and try to get him to understand he had not taken them yet that morning or that evening. Sometimes that would even be a fight....as he would take them out of the wrong cubby too. We had times we thought he took two doses at once. Mom was not good at even monitoring him, and the two would fight with each other, so ultimately this was the safety issue that got the caregiver hired to come in daily for a few hours. That worked for about 6 months, with me calling every evening about the 10 pm dose. I was usually able to have a social conversation, tell him a couple jokes, talk about how I loved him and cared about him, and lead him to take the pills while I was on the phone with him, and with mom watching in the background. There are also pill caps, for bottles that have an alarm on them, that will go off when it's time to take the pills too...but we tried those with them not being helpful, since neither parent could hear it if not in the same room as the pill bottle. We set the alarm clock on the cell phone to remind him of one pill he had to take at 230 pm and that worked for a good long time, until eventually, with his dementia, he just tuned out the alarm making a noise, and Mom was not willing to always be home at that time to remind him it had gone off. The issue of her communicating with him about his meds....became a real fight between them, because she had a bossy way of treating him like a forgetful child, and he had always been the man in charge and capable. Eventually, her way of communicating drove him to drinking too much alcohol all the time, to block her out....and that issue, combined with his increasing dementia is what caused us to have to place him in a facility. Mom is currently using the week long med box and is able to fill hers by herself and take meds appropriately. She is not on anything serious though, ....thyroid, supplements, Lasix....nothing that will affect her mind yet....so I am comfortable just assessing when I go down to Tucson to visit. But...YES....taking meds properly IS a HUGE SAFETY issue and must be monitored carefully. And communications about meds must be soft and delicate and still allow the parent to feel like they are 'in control' of their own lives and you as the child are just 'helping' them a little bit.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I cleaned and saved the little containers that you get sauces and dressings in from fast food places or Chinese restaurants. Then I would put masking tape on the lid and write a time I've day with a sharpie, like 7 a.m., 11 a.m., etc. Sometimes as I divided up the daily pills, l might have 4 to 6 containers but only set out one day at a time so it would be harder to overdose. This system worked well as long as they could tell time (digital watch is rather than analog watches can make this easier as time goes on) and yet gave them a feeling of independence about when to take their prescriptions.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions