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My father takes quite a few medications, one of them being a prescription sleeping pill. This is considered a controlled substance and on more than one occasion, he has run out before the 30 day supply is up. I don't know how this continues to happen. he is only supposed to take one at night. I need to talk with him about this but he can be very defensive. My concern is that he might not be taking it right. I have always acquiesced to what my father wants and now, as an adult I find it difficult to confidently speak with him about anything. My parents live with us and I am their Primary caregiver. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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Forgetting whether or not a pill has been taken is common. People don't have to have dementia for this to happen.

I like the idea of the alarm pill box. There are several on the market so a Web search will bring up some choices. It's likely that he's not doing this on purpose, but that he's defensive because he doesn't want to admit he got confused or forgot. Parents often get defensive with their adult children - after all, they are the parent and it's uncomfortable to have your "kids" telling you what to do.

If a scheduled box of some type doesn't work, then you may have to have the doctor tell your dad that for this particular pill, since it's so easy to forget and take a second, he'll have to let you control it or he can't have it.

Your dad needs compassion but he also needs to have this situation figured out. Try to preserve his dignity if you can. If it's true addiction, then I think you'll have noticed him increasingly running more and more short. If that's the case, the doctor must be in on the decision of what to do.

Good luck with this.
Carol
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When your parents moved in with you was it with the understanding that you would be their caregiver? If so, as their caregiver, it's good that you are aware of your dad's meds, when he takes them and how much he should take.

If your dad is running out of this med before the 30 days and you are aware of this then you can probably figure out that he's taking too many. Otherwise he wouldn't be running out too soon.

What does he do when he runs out? Not knowing what med you're talking about, is there withdrawl? Does his mood change? Does he get his refill the very second he is able to? Also, does this medication have refills or does the Dr. need to be contacted every 30 days for a new refill? Since you said it was a controlled substance I'm assuming the scrip doesn't have refills.

If you try to discuss this with him he will most likely deny it. Anyone who is abusing a prescription, when confronted, is not likely to say, "You're right, I'm taking too many."

Have you discussed this with your mom? What does she say?

Do you have POA? If so, you can call his Dr. and speak to him about this, figure out how to deal with this. If you don't have POA you can still alert the Dr. to this problem, the office just won't be able to discuss anything with you. But report it to the Dr. just the same.

Just know that it's not within your power to get your dad to stop abusing this med. And the more he takes the more he'll need to take, that's the cycle of addiction. I think the prescribing Dr. needs to be in on this and stop prescribing this medication and put your dad on a taper down dose. Don't take matters into your own hands by taking the medication away from him.

Your parents moved in with you so you can be their caregiver and part of being a caregiver is being an advocate for your loved one. If you can't confront your dad your only other choice is to do nothing. Your dad can't advocate for himself because he's becoming an addict, you'll have to do it for him. And if you can get your mom on board all the better.
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"The DOCTOR said to putyour medication in this pill organiser so HE can make sure it is working properly" then invest in the alarm pill box!!
PS. We "blame" the doctor for everything from taking a shower to drinking more water" when my dad questions it I tell him to call the office!!!!
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Buy yourself a 7 day AM PM pill box organizer. Set up the meds for the week putting the sleeping pill in the PM slot. Once the container is set up for the week put the bottles of pills in a safe place that only you know where they are. Then approach your Dad by saying "because you are worried that YOU might do something wrong this is the new routine you have come up with to help you. By making this about you instead of him he will most likely not take any offense to it or question it at all. I have been my Dad's primary care giver since 2012 and that is how I handle all situations with him. Explaining it to where he thinks he is doing something to help me works every time. I wish you strength and courage, those are the only two things that keep me going.
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I had the same problem with my father, you can by an alarm medication dispenser that is locked, so he can't over or under with the medicine. It is up to 2 weeks of medication at a time. I refill it every other Sunday for my father and have never had the problem again. I got mine off of amazon and it was around 40.00
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Mom takes 4 morning pills, 8 afternoon pills, and 5 nighttime pills plus 3 eye drops [different schedule for each eye]. i have a large [8-1/2"x14" pillbox set up for my convenience - 4 slots for 7 days. i put her next day's dose of pills into color-coded tins/pillboxes. Pink-am, light blue-pm, dark blue, nighttime. i hand her the tin with a bottle of Ensure or a rootbeer float [she's losing weight] and yep - watch her take them. Vitamins - wow - those chewable gummy bear-type are fabulous! i have to put out just one into each corresponding tin - it's her "sweet treat". No more problems with swallowing the required calcium pills :).Each morning, i DO have to help remind her - daily - to do the eye meds. 3 cornea transplants - and a misapplication or missed dose or a drop in the wrong eye - could take her visual deficit into the legally blind stage. She forgets - but i still keep doing the color coded chart,write the day/date out BIG on a sheet of paper each night, after she doses off. She tries to do it -- but after 4 strokes, all i can ask is for her to try. i don't want her to give up/give in - i'll monitor while she chooses which drop to put in which eye based on the color coded chart [it matches the color of the cap of each eyedrop - orange, grey and pink.).

But she has NO access to the big blue pillbox - only the tins. And i have a masking tape label on each with AM, PM, NITE on the backside - just in case she doesn't remember if she took the pill. And yes, it took 2 weeks of 'training' and daily monitoring, but she feels more secure and independent by having a "say so" and a sense of control over her meds -- and giggles when she wants an extra calcium gummy bear. [2 a day is perfect, anyway, to get the right recommended dose.] For Mom, i have her physically put the eye meds in a different place [5" on the other side of her vanity] so she knows at a glance, that she took that one eye drop. At night - i set things up for the next day.

May i suggest that he be provided access to only 1 sleeping pill a day - give it to him after supper - so that he can take it when he is supposed to. For Dad, i put a small bowl for his nighttime pill on his bedside table. If the pill was in there - he knew it was time to take it. Until time came for placing drops of morphine under the tonue, every x hours.

But for anyone on lots of meds - or from a generation that didn't have nor use meds - this RX stuff is a really weird concept. i DO have to hide the Excedrin - it's forbidden with the other meds - is it okay to say - Dad - let's find a way to make this easier! It'd drive me bonkers to try to remember when to take it: So how about we, ["get a timer ... use a tin ... ", e.g. whatever your imagination and your knowledge of your Dad's preferences/schedule would work. Maye your Dad gets daunted looking at a bottle of X number of pills, and thinks - 'Dr says i have to take these' ... and those words echo into his thoughts, the more he may lay awake, not immediately falling asleep. But if only the one pill is "out and available" in a bowl on the bedside - he will know that he took it - in about 10 day's worth of a new regime. Does your Dad get exercise? Perhaps if he's sedentary, even marching around the room / calisthetics / etc may help him tire more readily. Even a hobby ~ jigsaw puzzles, etc - fabulous for concentration!!

Don't be afraid to talk it over with him -- just ask how to "help make it easier for him." Most men do not ask for help - they think they need to figure things out for themselves. imho ;-p
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singing telegram
na na na na
looky here ya old clown, ya gotta eat these meds.
we got shrooms and ludes , and a handfull of " reds " .
they chill you out and put ya in aslow mode.
doc gives em to you so MY head dont explode ..
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I feel for you because it is a very difficult time you are in. With my MIL, she started dumping all her pills on the kitchen table and then 'getting confused'. Got really mad when I tried to help her put them back in the right bottles because they were HER pills, but in the end I took them away from her but it was absolutely necessary. Going under the guise that these where HER pills, I started dispensing them to her morning and night in a clear cup with a yellow sticky: MONDAY MORNING, MONDAY EVENING, TUESDAY MORNING, TUESDAY EVENING, and so on. For a while this worked but she never forgave me (it comes with the losing control syndrom even though it is in the best interests of the patient). As primary caretaker you are going to take a lot of hits. Bear with it and work the angles. You are going to have to slowly become the parent in this case. He is very lucky to have you there to help him through this period in his life.

BTW: I liked the idea of the locked dispenser that Tracy mentioned, but in the case of my MIL she absolutely refused to use it and threw it back at me. She wanted control and that was not acceptable.
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You will benefit from getting permission signed by your parents to speak with their medical proessionals, as well as POA while they can still sign their name. We almost missed the opportunity with my Dad. We had to transfer the property to my mom ASAP so she could take care of it because she didn't even have a POA for Dad. Anyway, back to the topic, Love Tracy1968 suggestion for a locked dispenser. If you know when the medication "should" run out, by being in the loop,you can check the # of pills left (put a reminder on your email or phone.) Where I am, we have an online electronic medical record and can sign up to login and see everything regarding our parents, meds, renewals, lab tests/results, communicate with the MD, see when they have scheduled appts and everything. You might ask if there is something like that where you are.
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All the answers are great and I had the same problem with my 85 year old Dad. He has the weekly pill containers but he used to get up a few times a night & lost track of what day it was or if it was day or night!! When I started living with him as his POA/Caregiver, I noticed the pills being taken sometimes randomly. I now have control of the meds and he has no clue where I keep them so he can never over use. If I do miss a vitamin, bet your a** he will notice! He is on hospice and has limited time now, so missing a vitamin or two won't hurt. I think you need to just take control of the meds, and if he gets angry when he goes looking for them, talk to his doctor and let them know there are problems. Go over his meds one by one, tell him what each is for and by all means, let him know you are the caregiver , the one with control of his meds. HE could overdose if you don't have the control and that may be something you won't be able to live down. Our parents are getting older and sometimes forgetful. As caregivers we need to help keep them safe and alive, as long as the good Lord allows them. Good luck & god bless.
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