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Tips for Getting a Stubborn Senior to Take Medication

Seniors who refuse to take medication, regardless of the reason, may be putting their health at risk. Unfortunately, this is a common problem that many hourly and live-in caregivers in Boca Raton find themselves dealing with at some point. This can be an exhausting and frustrating situation, but there are some tips you can try in the face of non-adherence.

Request Liquid or Dissolvable Formulas

You can’t force your senior loved one to take medication, but the doctor may OK crushing the medication up or hiding it if you are your loved one’s Durable Power for Healthcare and the medication is important. Dissolvable medications can be easier to take because there’s no swallowing and your loved one can’t hide a pill under his or her tongue to spit out later. Boca Raton elder care professionals also suggest seeking doctor approval to mix liquid medication in with juice to cover the taste.

Reduce the Number of Medications

Many seniors refuse or forget to take medication because they’re simply taking so many pills each day. Try creating an updated list of your loved one’s medication to discuss with his or her doctor. Some medications may be unnecessary and eliminating them–even temporarily–can make your loved one feel less overwhelmed about taking meds or help reduce or eliminate side effects.

Consider the Reason for the Refusal

Don’t assume your loved one is just being stubborn or difficult. There may be a reason he or she doesn’t want to take medication. Your loved one may not like the way the medication makes him or her feel or may have trouble swallowing the pill. He or she may even be worried because a friend experienced a serious side effect after taking the medication or there may be financial problems behind the refusal. In many cases, there may be a solution to your loved one’s problem, such as a different formulation.

Put Your Loved One Feel in Charge

Sometimes refusing medications is just a response to a loss of control and feeling rushed or scared, especially in seniors with dementia or other forms of memory impairment. Try explaining what’s happening calmly and give your loved one the time he or she needs. Encourage participation by setting out the pills with a glass of water.

Some seniors don’t mind taking medications, but have difficulty keeping track of dosing schedules. If your loved one could use help managing his or her medications, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of hourly, live-in, dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s home care Boca Raton families trust, and we can ensure your loved one has the assistance he or she needs to avoid missed doses, doubling up on doses, or skipping refills. For more information, please give us a call at (561) 826.9282 and speak with a friendly Care Manager today.