What you can do when your elderly loved one won’t take their medication:
There are many reasons seniors don’t take their medication properly. It may be that they just don’t remember to take it. The average senior takes seven different kinds of medicine every day, so it can be hard to remember which ones to take when, and how many. When forgetting seems to be a constant issue try these strategies: a pill organizer or a pill dispenser, a cell phone alarm or medication reminder, or daily checklists. Of course, if Alzheimer’s or dementia is the reason for forgetfulness, it may be time to make a plan for assisted living or memory care.
Sometimes it’s not a matter of forgetting, but it may be that your elderly loved one can’t stand the taste of the medication, or can’t swallow the pill. If that’s the case, ask the doctor whether the medication can be taken with food. Also ask if the medication can be crushed, or if it comes in a different form to make swallowing easier.
It could be that side effects are causing the problem. Some of the medications that are prescribed for common conditions come with unpleasant side effects. They can cause an upset stomach, dizziness, or drowsiness, just to name a few. Find out if your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, and bring it to the attention of their doctor or pharmacist. There may be alternative medications, or ways to lessen the side effects.
It’s helpful if you can find out what is causing the medication to be missed, whether it’s that they don’t think it’s doing any good or they have a hard time opening the bottle. When you can pinpoint the problem, it is easier to solve it.
At Dyer Nursing and Rehab, our services include medication management along with our many other skilled nursing services.