No Way: How to Deal with Loved Ones Who Resist Taking Medication

Caregiver Explaining Medication to an ElderlyThe job of a caregiver is tough and often what makes the task particularly challenging is the routine activities. Case in point: making sure that your loved one who has Alzheimer’s took his medicines, with the right dosage, at the right time. You know this situation well.

When your mom sees you opening the pillbox, they will start whining, saying they wouldn’t take the medicines. In such situations, it’s tempting to just dismiss them as being stubborn, but be reminded that it’s the disease that’s making them behave like this.

With the condition altering their brains, as numerous studies in California show, they get confused, they forget, and in most cases, they’re unable to articulate their anxieties. Try a new approach. Take these tips the next time you open the pill box:

Help Them Be at Ease

Often, patients resist taking medicines because there’s fear or confusion about what it is you’re doing. They get angry because they feel like they lost a sense of control. So, it’s important to remind them why you’re doing this and how, step by step, you both can accomplish the task.

Reassure them every step of the process. If there’s a way they can participate, say they’ll be the one to take the pill from the box, let them do it. Experts in providing senior home health care services in Central Valley North say that decent, honest communication with loved ones is important to keep them at ease.

Make Some Adjustments, if Possible

As the caregiver, you know very well the personality and routines of your loved one. If you think there’s a certain time of the day they’ll be more accommodating to take medications, tell their doctors for possible adjustments.

Some patients may find it difficult to swallow pills, so they might be more comfortable taking other forms, say liquids. Again, talk to their doctor about this.

Consider Other Factors

Evaluate other factors that may be the reason for your loved ones’ resistant behavior. Some people with Alzheimer’s become upset when they see a lot of pills. It might be worth considering removing the pills from the box prior to telling them to take their medicines.

Assess the environment too. Is the TV too loud when they take their medications? It’s what probably agitates them. Try to create that calm environment as part of preparing them.

It’s indeed difficult to keep calm and be patient with loved ones refusing to comply with their medications. Remember though that they need a support system, especially in this fight to have a better quality of life.