What to Do When Elderly Won’t Take Medicines

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It can be very frustrating when your elderly loved one meets attempts to care for him or her with resistance and even hostility. Habitually refusing to take medication can seem impossible to remedy, but there are a few simple ways to calmly approach the situation and turn around frustrating behaviors. The experienced Caledon caregivers at Home Care Assistance offer the following advice when your loved one refuses medication.

Think about why they don’t want to take the medication

Is the medicine making your loved one gag? If it is hard to swallow, tastes bad, or makes him or her sick, consult a physician to find out if there is an alternative form of the medication. If there is not an alternative way to take the medicine, there may be a substitute medication that could be prescribed, or it may be permissible to mix the medication with a food or beverage.

Address anxiety pertaining to the medicine

Does your loved one understand why they are taking the medication and what the positive benefits are? Is he or she concerned about the cost of the medication and how to continue paying for it? Take the time to thoroughly explain why the medicine is necessary and how it will be paid for. Involve the physician if necessary.

Consider confusion or vision complications

Is your loved one purposely not taking medicine, or are they unclear about when and how to take it? Can they clearly read the label and see the pill? If there is any confusion at all, take charge and not only administer the medicine, but post a medication schedule in a visible spot so everyone, including your loved one and any caregivers who provide respite home care, is on the same page about the prescription schedule and details. This also proves helpful in avoiding any dangerous medication overlaps or interactions.

Evaluate overall wellbeing

If your loved one isn’t getting adequate rest, all activities during waking hours may be disruptive. Be mindful of having a fixed sleep schedule and don’t underestimate the difference regular quality slumber can have on all daytime activities, including taking medications.

Overall, remain calm and remember that you are your loved one’s best advocate. Pay attention to details and changes, and let your elderly relative know you are his or her diligent care partner.

Many seniors don’t mind taking medications, but have a hard time remembering their dosing schedule or getting prescriptions refilled on time. If you’re concerned your loved one might be skipping doses or taking too much, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of at-home care for elderly in Caledon. Our live-in and part-time caregivers can offer medication reminders, monitor dose, and refill prescriptions as needed. For more information, call 905-951-8885 and request an in-home consultation today.