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Lostsoul, is your Dad forgetting to take his pills or refusing to take the pills when offered?

My Dad had a pill box and had morning caregivers who would make sure he took his morning medicine.... and the caregivers would leave notes around Dad's home as a reminder to take the evening pills, even leaving the pills in a pill cup on the kitchen table. After awhile Dad would ignore the notes. I even rotated the notes to make them feel like the notes were new in a new location.

Then one day I noticed what looked like he had taken two days worth of pills, apparently not remembering he had pills that morning. That scared me. Since Dad lived in Independent Living I was able to bring in Staff who took over the maintenance of his pills. No more pills were in his apartment. The Staff came twice a day. Yes, there was a daily fee for doing that, but worth the cost.
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Your loved one has dementia, correct? Do you know the reason for the refusal?

What is the medication for? How critical is it to their well-being?

Ultimately you can't force them to take it. If you can figure out the reason and try to work around that you may have some chance of success.
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At first I assumed my mom was just forgetting to take her meds. Once a week I'd fill her pill box that did the am/afternoon/pm breakdown for a week. Every week there were more days left in the box than not. So we agreed I would call her every day to remind her to take her meds - God, that was a pain in the butt. Shortly after that I began finding a pill or two on her bathroom floor - everytime I visited but I figured she was dropping one or two as she took them...but it was a bit odd cause mom ALWAYS takes her pills in the kitchen as she needs a bit of bread or cracker to get them down. But then one day I went into moms bathroom and there on the bottom of the toilet bowl was a day's worth of pills - seems mom forgot to flush! But the really funny part is when I asked her about it, she totally denied doing it - and she lived alone! From that day on, I filled the pill box as needed, ordered refills as needed but I never again mentioned moms medication to her. I just wasn't gonna play that game with her. C'est la vie!
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It would depend, of course, on how important the medicine is. At some point, most maintenance medications can be discontinued, with the guidance of the doctor. If it is something they really need to take, you might hide it in pudding. Find out if it comes in a liquid or chewable form, or can be crushed. Not everything can be crushed or a capsule opened, so find out from the pharmacist or doctor. If you think you can get a reasonable answer, you might just ask them why they don't want to take it. Maybe it has a side effect, maybe it tastes bad. My mom felt she was taking too many pills and was refusing to take them, so I removed the vitamins/supplements and she was ok with the smaller number of pills.
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