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My Mom lives by herself, and we visit or call an ask if she has taken her pills she will always answer yes. Then later on we will be putting away something or cleaning and find an entire set of her day's pills in odd places. Is there a "sugar pill" that will coat her tongue or mouth in a color to know she actually took them instead of saying yes and actually hiding them?

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Thanks to all for the helpful responses. No, I don't ler go out alone any more, even though it's a pain in the butt for both of us, since she has to do the driving and getting my wheelchair into and out of the car. But she understands that she should not go places on her own, and should keep her cell phone charged--I think!
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Oh and mom should not be out alone anymore, but you already know that part.
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mmthku, dont get scared get prepared. Start now listing the things you need to put in place. Look into online grocery shopping transportation to dr visits, pharmacy that delivers and uses blister packs to make it easier. Think about who you might hire to help out. And look into long term plan if mom needs placement. If u have a plan it will keep u from making snap decisions. Plan your work and work your plan mom always said.
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Ramiller: You're welcome.
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Every Sunday I prepare a week's worth of pills for my wife and for me. I take pills 4 times a day; she takes hers 3 times a day. If I don't remind her, she often forgets to take them. It's important that she take them at the right time, especially this week as she is on a course of Cipro for a UTI. She is showing more and more signs of cognitive impairment. Last week she went grocery shopping and then turned the wrong way. (I am a semi-paraplegic and can't drive). After 4 hours she called on a police officer's cell phone (hers was dead and she'd forgotten about the charger we keep in the car). That was a great relief, but it still took her another 4 hours to get home! This week I insisted on going with her, and she agreed. She had a terrible time finding things in the store, alleging that it had been rearranged. On the way home, I had to tell her each turn to take. Her mother, maternal grandmother, and big sister all had Alzheimer's. When I was in a post-surgery nursing home for 6 weeks last summer, I called her every day to remind her to take her pills, and on Sundays how to set them up for the week. A big deal, wouldn't you agree? I'm getting scared.
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Llama, thats a good one did not know thanks
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Some pharmacies now have a clock on top of the cap to indicate when the bottle was last opened.
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I've been through this as well. Once a week I would set up her pill box, for a few years all was well. After a while I noticed she was missing the days that I or the caregiver wasn't there. So I called her every morning - she would take the pills while I was on the phone. After a while I began to notice a pill or two on the bathroom floor, which was odd since her pill box was on the dining room table since she took them with meals. Then one day I went to use the bathroom and the entire day's worth of pills were sitting at the bottom of the toilet! They hadn't disinagtated yet so she must have tossed the when I called to say I was on my way over - I lived 15 minutes away. When I asked her about it she totally denied it - really? They flew there on their own? She is now in a NH and a few days ago I found a pill on the bathroom floor (sigh). The med aide now stands there and then does a cheek check. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't fit the emergency room visits that follow a few days of missed meds.
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Sometimes it is a fine line between a patient's right to refuse medication and the patient having the mental ability to exercise that right. Sometimes "problems" with their meds is a first indicator that the person is having mental or emotional problems. Is it depression or dementia, or both? If my mother today refused to take her meds I would have a psych evaluation done on her. If deemed competent I would abide by her wishes, she is an adult. I may not agree with her decision but it is her decision. The reassurance I would want is that she is making the decision not the dementia.Sometimes it is hard to tell.
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Although it could be memory related, it sounds to me to be very purposeful. If it was a case of you looking in the bottles & realizing there was 24 pills left when there should only be 10 then, yes, I'd say she was simply forgetting to take her medicines. But, the fact that she's actually HIDING them says to me that she's purposefully not taking them & is trying to avoid confrontation with you by stowing them in places you wouldn't normally look for them. I took care of an elderly lady like that once. She hated the fact that her Lasix made her urinate frequently so she started hiding them. Then, when we caught on & said we needed to watch her take them, she'd "cheek" her pills & hide the Lasix when we walked away. Eventually, I had to treat her like psych patients & inmates & make her let me do an oral inspection to be sure the pill actually went down. I hated having to treat her that way but it was for her own good. Otherwise, a few days without her Lasix & she'd end up in the hospital with Congestive Heart Failure.
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After a stroke, my sister couldn't remember whether or not she had taken her meds. She wasn't being difficult, just couldn't remember. It was a long struggle however to get her to accept caregivers in her home; eventually she moved to an AL, and they supervised her meds. Since a diagnosis of dementia, today she is in a memory care and the happiest she has been in a long time. That was our experience with misplaced meds, or doubled-up meds, and it was a relief to get that resolved at last. Good luck to you!
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After my FIL died, I was cleaning out his condo. Under his favorite recliner were HUNDREDS of pills. He didn't take anything the last month of his life unless I stood there and watched. He stuffed them into the side of the chair. Actually, in some weird way, in was funny. Nothing was helping him by this point, some pills actually made him sicker, so he did what he wanted.
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I was in the same boat with my mom. She was living alone at the time and sure enough in the middle of the night I'd get the call from Life Alert that she was on her way to the ER. She wasn't taking her heart medications, although they were in a Morn/Aft/Eve/Bed Pill box.
I know it's hard to get our parents to be honest in regards to taking their pills. I guess the only thing that helped me was being on the phone with her each time it was for "pill call". Even so, it's not fool proof but it got her to stop the ER visits until she moved to an ALF.
Otherwise, you have a great invention. Seriously, if you could make something or get someone to help you out with this that could detect the important meds on the tongue, then it really could help save lives even!
Try "pill call" maybe for now. Best of luck to you. I know it's hard.
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It may be time to either take her into your home or find an AL. Phillips has a machine that you can set up her pills for a weekvor more. The machine will tell her when its time to take her pills, if she doesn't you get a call. Its pricy but may be worth it. It also can be locked.
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Dont know of any pill that will do that. The blister packs are a good idea, however as others said still no sure way to tell unless you are there. Sounds like its time there was a step up in her care. If family cant do it perhaps hire someone to come in for pill time. There are people who might like a bit of extra income for a brief stop, a neighbor, friend college student etc...
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You might try blister packs. However, she still could open then and hide her meds. Sounds like you or someone needs to watch her take her meds to ensure she takes them. At some point, you may need to hide them in applesauce, etc. How old is your mother? Has she been diagnosed with any memory loss or dementia? Her behavior sounds like the symptoms of several kinds of memory loss.
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You can get the drug store to package her meds in blister packs (sometimes called compliance packs), that way it will immediately be apparent whether her pills have been taken or not. And if she is one of those folks who pop all the pills out at once you will be certain that she can no longer be trusted to take her meds properly.
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