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My wife, who has dementia, has been pronounced housebound by her doctor. I am her caregiver at home. She refuses to take her pills in the morning in accordance with her care plan which calls for pills five times a day. She refuses to swallow them and spits them out. Would Medicare pay for a nurse to come to our home to administer the pills each morning?

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Warren631, I'm not sure whether Medicare would pay for this, but if so your doctor should be able to write an order for you. (If nothing else maybe he or she can take a look at her dosages and see if there is a way to cut down on the number of pills she's taking, or the numbers of times a day.) In general, Medicare resists paying for in-home health care. Medicare would send an aide for bathing or therapy if our grandparents didn't go to rehab and that was it. Maybe it's changing, but when we needed in-home help, we got it from the county or the VA.

You might be eligible for some help from the community. I think at our county's Agency on Aging (in Mich.) it is 10 hours a week max and they usually want to schedule visits in 2 or 3 hour blocks; also sometimes it is difficult to get them to come early in the day, but that probably depends on what agencies your county uses.

I feel so bad for you; this has been a long road. It is really difficult to do the work of caregiving alone. Do you have any caregivers helping you? It sounded like you have adult children; could any of them help you look up resources in your area or call some home health care agencies? That is something they could do from out of town if they don't live nearby.

I am so sorry your wife has had this change. It is a lot to take in, and when you are that busy caring for someone, it doesn't leave a lot of time to work through the emotional part of it. I hope you can find some outside help soon. You need to get some sleep yourself and have time to catch up from the past several months!
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Warren, is she refusing to take only the morning pills?
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Warren631, are there any "compounding pharmacies" in your area? What these pharmacies do is reproduce the pills needed and make them into a flavor your wife might enjoy tasting, such as cherry flavor. Now I don't know if your wife's Rx insurance would cover the cost, you would need to check on that.
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How would a nurse be any more effective than you would be at giving her the pills?
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I have tried all methods such as putting them in her breakfast, toast, etc. One large pill must not be crushed.
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