Do you have an aging loved one for whom you provide care? At times, it can seem like one crisis after another. It can wear you down, with all the day-to-day hassles you may face. For example, managing medications can be a problem. When an aging family member constantly forgets to take their medications – or flat out doesn’t want to take medicine – caregivers tend to feel frustrated.
If your aging loved one does not take their medications in the right dosages, take them on time, or take them at all, this can be referred to as nonadherence or noncompliance. Eventually, the result can be hospitalization or a visit to the emergency room due to a fall, dizziness, confusion, or some other serious side effect. What can you do?
Dealing with a Loved One Who Won’t Take Their Medication
Before we talk about what to do to get your loved one to take their meds, let’s talk about what not to do. With the family member in question, do not enter into an emotional struggle. Coaxing or arguing can end up hurting feelings and affect the rest of your relationship with that person. Bottom line: no one’s behavior will be altered positively.
A better approach may include the following suggestions…
Steps to Take Toward Compliance
When someone is compliant with their meds, it means they are taking them as directed. If your loved one doesn’t want to do that – or constantly forgets – here are some steps to take toward compliance:
- An evaluation may be called for during which your loved one will be evaluated for cognitive impairment, depression, etc.
- Make an up-to-date medication list. Make sure that absolutely everything taken by your loved one is on the list including herbal supplements, vitamins, laxatives, aspirin, etc. Check with their physician to make sure that none of them present a problem for the others (contraindications).
- Establish what the necessary medications are. If you had to reduce the number of pills/prescriptions your loved one takes, what would the bare minimum be? This is likely something you’ll need to clear with their physician. If you can’t get five pills in them today, which would be most important (if you could get them to take only two or three)?
- Try to stick to one pharmacy if at all possible, in an attempt to centralize a record of your loved one’s pharmaceuticals.
Talk It Out
After the above-stated suggestions have been accomplished, it’s time to sit down and have a chat with your loved one. Can they give you a reason why their meds aren’t taken? Do they hate the taste of the medication? Do they feel like they’re too expensive? Did they simply forget? Try to get to the bottom of it.
Though there may be valid reasons why they’re not taking their meds, finding a solution to what they perceive as a problem is crucial. Their physician may be able to offer help through counseling, an explanation, a different drug or formulation, etc. Check the many ways of purchasing prescription drugs at a lower cost or getting them for free.
If your aging loved one is having a lot of trouble with their meds and other daily activities, it may be time to consider an assisted living/retirement community.
Let Our Care Team Assist Your Loved One with Medication at Discovery Village At Palm Beach Gardens
When residing at Discovery Village At Palm Beach Gardens, our care team will be happy to assist your aging loved ones to make sure they take their medication as directed – and much more. We offer both senior assisted living and supervised independent living in spacious, beautiful apartments. We also are proud to provide SHINE® Memory Care for those affected by conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Our retirement community offers club rooms, a salon, theater, and fine dining – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To learn more about our residences, please call us at 561-316-4626 to speak to a representative about sales and/or leasing. Any other questions can be directed to 561-801-7301. You can also use our convenient online form to contact us.
Better yet, see for yourself all we have to offer by scheduling a tour.