How to get mom to take her medications when she refuses? - AgingCare.com

How to get mom to take her medications when she refuses?

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Mom is refusing to take her evening meds... She is just sitting in her chair, I put her medication on the table beside her after she refused to take them from me and told me to throw them away. Now she is just staring off into space.

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Thank you all for your pearls of wisdom.. She woke up next day fine and took morning meds with no problem. Dementia is such a roller coaster of a ride.
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I've only had one evening that my Mom refused to take her med's. She has Dementia along with other health issues.The night she didn't want to take them she clamped down her lips and would not open her mouth. I told her then that the medicine was her best friend, without them she would be in pain like she was before besides being nauseous. She took them. It' only happened the one time, the rest of the days are her just forgetting to take him eve with me putting them right by her bedside with a note taped to the little cup and then again for the morning in the same way. I know she just forgets so all I have to do is be there when it's medicine time or call her and have her take them while I'm on the phone with her. The forgetfulness is getting so bad. She hasn't been able to remember to take them at all but everyday I remind her that they are best friends so she doesn't have to suffer like before. It helps on some days.
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What ferris1 said - we started doing that after she wouldn't take them in rehab and it worked because it was easier for her to swallow and also tasted better.
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Ask her doctor if it is time to call Hospice. She has the right to refuse and die, but if she's refusing out of dementia and doesn't understand what will happen, that's a whole different dilemma. Ask her what her intentions are.
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Have you asked her why she doesn't want to take them? Sometimes fixing those reasons can help.

My husband has trouble swallowing big pills. The anticoagulant Pradaxa is the size of small squirel (kidding, but it's huge). His doctor switched him to Xarelto, which is a tiny little pill and only had to be taken once a day.

Vitamins are too big to swallow too, so we got gummies. They don't have the minerals, but it's all we can do.

Some pills are bitter. They go down easier on the very end of a spoonful of chocolate pudding or tapioca or applesauce. Or Ensure. Or you can kill the taste afterwards with a soda.

Trouble swallowing can also be helped with a thicker liquid. My husband likes to take his pills with Ensure, a nutrition shake, or grocery store chocolate milk, both of which are thickened more than plain milk or water.

Some pills make you feel bad. You have to explain what they're for and hope for the best. Also, moving them to a different time sometimes works--groggy ones at night, nervous ones in the morning. He's happy to take one that makes him sleepy at night but complains about it during the day. I have one pill that gives me "toxic waste" caliber acid reflux. I have to sit up after taking that one and have a little milk or non-acid food with it.

If you already have to grind the pills up and mix them with food, things can get hard. My husband totally quit eating the foods that were used to convey crushed drugs. If you're in that situation, make it clear which food has drugs in it and which is "safe." Also, remember, mixing something bitter with a whole pudding cup doesn't make it taste better. It just means they have to eat more nasty stuff.

Finally, the array of pills can be daunting and a reminder of how sick and old you've become. Sometimes you have to prioritize. If she doesn't want to take a cholesterol lowering pill, maybe that's not as bad as skipping the diabetic control med. Given a choice between a blood thinner and a vitamin, I'd go blood thinner.

One last thing, don't try to force them on her. Put them next to her so she can see them and don't say anything for a while. Then ask something like, which of these is for your heart condition? She might pick it out, or you tell her, and then she might just take it herself, because then it's her idea.

Good luck.
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Melville, I forgot to add, your mother has a "right" to refuse any medication unless she is a danger to herself or others. The more you try to "force", the more resistant she might become. Like I said above, if it is for a life-threatening condition, put the med in something, but if it is say a vitamin, you cannot force her to take it.
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You don't say what condition she has and what type of medication she is taking. No med for dementia is going to change the diagnosis, so it won't be life-threatening if she doesn't take them. If the med is for another medical issue which needs medication, try putting the pill in some evening pudding, ice cream, anything she really likes. Staring off into space is not a crime, nor is it an act that is punishable. I have my faculties and often stare into space to look at what God has made and I'm thinking of what to do next. Again, we need to know what med it is and why is she taking it. Merry Christmas!
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First I found the pills hidden under food left on Mom's plate, or wrapped in her napkin, then in her pockets and even on the floor. Clearly I needed to get creative.

Now, I take the meds that are available in liquid form and mix them with Gatorade and serve in a juice glass as the only thing to drink with meals. Those in pill form are crushed and mixed with peanut butter and served on a cracker. Recently I switched to Jif Whips, chocolate flavor. Mom thinks it’s a treat and gobbles it up first.

Her doctor was a great resource in making this transition and with the grace of God this will continue to work out as an alternative method of medication delivery.

Every Saturday evening, I sort out the week's pills into the compartments of the organizer box and place it at the back of the highest shelf in a kitchen cabinet. Original containers likewise are kept hidden from sight and out of Mom's reach.

As each new challenge arises, it helps to accept that Mom's dementia is progressing and that I am in charge of her well-being since she can't be. Confrontation certainly doesn't work, does it? So we just have to out-maneuver them.

Blessings to you that soon you will find a mutually peaceful way to deal with your mother's (and your) changing needs.
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The situation here is that Mother won't take Medications on 'schedule' as set-up by me. With thirteen medications, spread over twenty (24) hours starting at nine (09:00) a.m. & ending @ ten (22:00) p.m. The Dementia don't help, obviously, so it's now given with a reward after. Want breakfast and morning tea? Meds first. This goes right through the entire day. At bedtime, which is ten (22:00) p.m., the reward is either ice cream or herbal tea and cookies. That has worked well, for the most part. As for "just sitting in her chair", that's remains the same, EXCEPT Mother won't stay in chair, and wants to be up all night puttering around; usually in the kitchen cabinets. The remedy that is letting her up for twenty (20) to thirty (30) minutes, then recliner w/legs elevated for one (1) to one & half (1.5) hours minimum.....longer if possible. AND NO NAPPING, that way she stays in bed during the night. Mother has poor blood flow in legs and requires consent monitoring for edema.

I darn not leave Mother's medication within her grasp; she take them out of container (4x7) and plays with them....my terms. At med time I must administer AND watch until all are taken, that's the only way to assure it is done.

Try a 'reward system' to see if it helps. Get your Mother up and moving around, for short bouts if within the perimeter of prescribed care. Let us (me) know if it helps.
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Nightly and daily she does not want to take medication,
I just tell her, her Mom would have wished to have this medicine,
but they didn't have it then and that she is lucky to have it, works every time!
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