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I am looking for ideas of what I can leave next to my dad's automated medication dispenser (it's a big device about 14" x 7" x 7") for him to swallow his pills.


I just read about those gels that make it easier for patients to swallow pills. They also sell sprays and coatings for pills. I don't know if those are sweetened. He's diabetic.


They also say that if the patient has trouble swallowing in general, which my dad does, then they shouldn't use those products.


Every time he takes his medication with refrigerated applesauce he has to go from the machine over to the kitchen and it's a lot of wasted movement for him with his walker early in the morning or late at night when he's tired. I thought maybe a nut butter. We have to keep in mind he also has diabetes.


If he opens up one of those little refrigerated snack size containers of unsweetened applesauce, (he currently takes a spoonful at a time out of a jar), I wouldn't feel confident leaving it out all day in case bacteria started growing in it and he got sick.


And they don't have enough money to be having him open up a whole new snack size container every time he has to take his meds.


I'd like to figure out a way where he has about a tablespoons worth of something without sugar in it that can stay fresh on his dresser.


Then we would set up if needed a set of spoons for the week so he's not using the same spoon every time because that's part of the reason he then would go back to the kitchen to put the spoon in the sink or rinse it out.

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Why not get him a mini fridge, the sort that holds a six pack or that you can get for RUVs, and put it near the dispenser. And packs of catering disposable spoons, ideally wooden or bamboo for eco reasons.

I do think you could also relax just a tad about a) the quantity of sugar contained in say half a pot of custard and b) the perils of food poisoning. I agree that food hygiene is important, but re-using a licked teaspoon would not mean certain death.

His having a swallowing impairment is a bit more of a worry, especially if he's taking his medication unsupervised. Pharmacists are excellent sources of advice for how to lessen this different set of risks.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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I wouldn't stop him from getting up and walking to the kitchen. He needs to stay mobile as long as possible. What will happen to him if he loses his mobility completely?

Sometimes we disable our loved ones by intervening when we shouldn't. I learned this truth the hard way.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Pdiane82 Sep 2, 2022
I hear you I wish my mom would just stand up so I can get her from her bed to her portable toilet it's next to her bed I can get her on ii but I have trouble getting her back in her bed
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Keep a mini fridge close by. Get an old style ice cube tray. I prefer the silicone ones. Fill them with Jello shots. I do not understand why you are worried about small amounts of sweetened items for 2 to 4 doses a day. After all, any food item including bread or starch contain calories converted into sugars. I think a total ban on small sugared items are too strict.
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Reply to MACinCT
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Can your dad add a thickener to a small water bottle or small kiddie size sippy cup?
You could get tiny tupperware cups from the dollar store and premeasure the powdered thickener.
He then adds to his water and shake.

As for spoons get disposable ones.

A great option is to ask a speech therapist.
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Reply to InFamilyService
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I use those unsweetened applesauce pouches for kids to take my pills cause I just find it easier. If your dad doesn’t eat veggies you can get the kind they make with veggies in it to sneak in a little extra veggie serving too. Those have a bit of sugar usually, but definitely not enough to worry over. They don’t need refrigeration until they are opened and have an easy open top that can be replaced.

my other suggestion would have been yogurt, but obviously that has to be refrigerated…
is there a reason you can’t move the medication dispenser to be closer to the fridge? And like some others said- exercise is good!! The more movement, the better as our muscles atrophy much quicker as we age. The exercise he gets walking over to the fridge with the walker might be unpleasant for him but it will help him avoid falls in the long run because he is working his leg muscles.
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Reply to youknowyoudid
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Unless I am missing something, it seems that your father would be okay taking the pills with water. So, why not move the pill box to the kitchen where he can get water? A stack of small disposable cups next to sink may make you comfortable knowing he can use a fresh cup each dose. If he wants something cold like water or applesauce the refrigerator would be close by. For my mom I encourage her to make trips to the kitchen or anywhere else in the house to keep her mobile and prevent pressure sores. If moving the pill box is not an option can you put some small bottles of water by the box, enough so he'll have a fresh one every day? I hope you find something that works.
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Reply to Natasana
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Why can't your dad walk to the kitchen and get exercise? Some pills should be swallowed whole, not crushed. If unsure what coating or food to use, check with his doctor since he has diabetes.

For myself, I have prediabetes and eat natural, whole wheat crackers. I take Trazadone for sleep, so food or milk must be taken to avoid an upset stomach as well as make swallowing easier.
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Reply to Patathome01
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I swear, Amazon has everything. Check this out, maybe it will work for your father. https://www.amazon.com/Medi-Spout-Assist-Water-Bottle-Swallowing/dp/B07CDN5NFB/ref=pd_lpo_2?pd_rd_i=B07CDN5NFB&th=1
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Reply to Tynagh
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You can buy tiny tablespoon size containers in the dollar store which can be filled ahead of time with just the right amount he needs. Please stay away from using nut butter as the "glide" as it can get stuck in the throat. Lastly, your dad should follow up with a swig or two of water to carry the pills down into his stomach. Taking pills without liquid is asking for trouble.
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Reply to NYCmama
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There are packets of shelf stable apple sauce that would be ideal. You just twist the lid off and squeeze in your mouth, no spoon needed. Look at Target, Walmart or your grocery store for GoGoSqueeze. My kids love them.
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Reply to aermay
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