Medicine is prescribed to treat illnesses, prevent diseases from becoming worse, and lower the odds of hospitalization. However, many older adults fail to take their prescriptions correctly, leading to severe health consequences. Below are some tips family caregivers can use when their senior parents refuse to take their medications.
Explain the Benefits
Knowing the advantages of a prescription could be enough to get your loved one to take the medication as prescribed. Explain how it could prevent him or her from needing to move into an assisted living facility or stop doing basic tasks alone. When you stress how medicine can boost physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing and stave off serious health problems, your loved one may be more receptive to the treatment.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Lincoln families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Give the Medication with Delicious Food
The flavor of a pill or the aftertaste of liquid prescriptions might be unappealing to your parent and cause him or her to put off taking medicine. To handle this issue, encourage your loved one to take prescriptions with delicious food, such as fruit-flavored yogurt or sugar-free flavored beverages. The objective is to take your parent’s focus away from the taste of the medication and put it on the taste of the food or beverages he or she takes it with.
Address Side Effects
A prescription may make your loved one use the restroom more frequently or cause fatigue or other side effects that disrupt daily life, leading to medication mismanagement. The minor effects could also cause your loved one to stop taking the medicine altogether. Speak with a medical provider about all prescriptions ahead of time to discover which drug causes which side effects, and develop strategies to handle these problems. For instance, if the medicine makes your loved one sleepy, try to schedule his or her daytime nap right after the dosage. If your parent frequently urinates due to a pill, he or she should remain near a bathroom after the dosage, and you should try to avoid planning any outings around this time.
Keep a Consistent Schedule
Many aging adults, particularly those with dementia, skip medication unintentionally due to confusion. Develop a daily routine to ensure your loved one doesn’t miss a dosage. The familiarity with the prescription schedule could ease your loved one’s mind and prevent him or her from overlapping medicine. If you need to change the time due to conflicting schedules or at the request of a physician, speak to your loved one about the change and try to attach the task to another important routine, such as bathing, eating breakfast, or enjoying fun afternoon and evening activities.
Aging adults with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia may face difficulty managing their medication as well as other basic daily tasks. If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s and needs help managing daily tasks, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Lincoln Home Care Assistance provides reliable caregivers around the clock to help your loved one age in place safely and comfortably while living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Determine the Problem
Some seniors may refuse to take medicine because of the way it makes them feel. This is more than an unpleasant side effect or flavor. The prescription may not be working, or it could cause other conditions to worsen. Monitor your loved one’s response to the medicine and share that information with his or her primary care physician. The doctor may have alternative treatment options your loved one is eligible to receive. However, your parent should never stop taking the medication without a doctor’s approval. Missing even a few dosages could lead to severe health problems.
Receiving assistance with medication management is just one of the many ways to boost quality of life in the elderly. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. To speak with one of our friendly and qualified Care Managers, call (916) 226-3737 today.