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My Parent Has Alzheimer’s & Won’t Take Prescribed Medications

By Lauren Robison, 8:00 am on

The progressive nature of Alzheimer’s can make caring for an aging parent or loved one particularly challenging. This is especially true when symptoms such as suspicion and agitation lead your loved one to refuse his or her prescribed medications. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to get seniors with Alzheimer’s to take their pills without having to use force or trickery. Here are a few strategies to consider, presented by New Hampshire Alzheimer’s care provider, Home Care Assistance.

Creating a Calm and Comfortable Environment

Alzheimer’s patients are highly responsive to their environments. Thus, when it’s time to take medications, make sure your loved one is in a comfortable and familiar environment. You can try playing soft music, turning off the television and minimizing noise from other household residents. It is also a good idea to make sure that you are calm as well because seniors with Alzheimer’s often mimic the emotions of those they trust.

Dealing with Loss Of Autonomy

Many people become resistant to taking medications when they feel hurried, afraid or absent of control. As a result, give your loved one plenty of time to take their medications. Try filling a water glass and setting the pill in front of your loved one until they are ready. If help is needed, make sure to offer assistance slowly and with a level head. Your loved one’s resistance to taking medication may only be heightened if you lose your temper. You can provide your loved one with additional peace of mind by describing what each pill is, what it is for, and the benefits it will provide.

Talking to Your Loved One’s Doctor or Pharmacist

It may be possible to have dosing regimens amended to better reflect the moods and behaviors of your loved one. Your family member could be more responsive to your efforts to dispense medication at a specific time of day. Talk to the doctor or pharmacist about any problems that you are experiencing in order to learn whether pills can be taken earlier or later in the day without adverse effects.

Although it may take time to find the right strategies for getting your loved one to take medications, having patience throughout the process and seeking advice from trusted medical professionals can help ensure that your loved one takes the medications needed to remain healthy and happy.

For more information about caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s, visit our website at www.newhampshirehomecareassistance.com or call 603-471-3004 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager and learn about our specialty Alzheimer’s care plans and highly trained caregivers.