“I don’t need that medicine! There’s nothing wrong with me!”
If you’ve heard a senior loved one proclaim this or other sentiments to justify not taking the medication their doctor prescribed, you know how frustrating and concerning it is. There are many reasons someone may balk at adhering to doctors’ instructions, from denial to Alzheimer’s and everything in between. The reality, though, is that the doctor recommends that the medications be taken; so, it’s imperative that you ensure their instructions are followed.
Speak to the Senior
If possible, attempt to figure out the key reason why the senior is balking at taking medications. They could be suffering from annoying effects, such as dizziness, upset stomach, changes in how food tastes, lethargy, etc. In the event that the older adult is unable to articulate the primary cause, keep a journal to make note of any alterations in mood or behavior after medications are taken. Look also for nonverbal cues that may suggest the individual is suffering from physical discomfort, like sleeping more or less, grimacing, or holding a hand over the abdominal area.
Get in Touch with the Physician
Arrange an appointment with the senior’s health care provider to let them know about the situation. Find out if there’s room for adjustment in any of the prescribed medications, particularly in the event of undesirable side effects. It could be that certain medications can be put on hold for now, while others are critical and life-saving. You can also ask the physician to talk with the person to state the necessity of taking medications as prescribed. In some cases, hearing recommendations directly from a trusted professional will carry more weight than from a family member of a senior who is reluctant to take medications.
Look into Different Formats
If pills are hard to swallow, find out if they could be crushed or broken in two. If a liquid medication is unappetizing, see if other flavors are available, or if perhaps it can be mixed with food to help conceal the taste. There are often multiple ways to alter how a medication is taken. The doctor or pharmacist can offer recommendations.
Taking care of a senior relative who refuses to adhere to recommended medical advice can be quite stressful. However, expressing your irritations can exacerbate an already challenging situation and make the older person dig their heels in even more. It’s important to prioritize the time needed to take care of yourself and to be certain your stress levels remain in check so you’ll have the patience needed to keep a calm attitude.
Let Anthem Home Care, a provider of home care assistance in Portland, TX and the nearby areas, help with medication reminder services from one of our skilled, trained, and experienced care providers. We can help make sure doctors’ orders are followed, so you can step away from that particular role and simply enjoy spending some time with your senior loved one. Our medication reminder services are just one small part of the many aging care services we offer, too. Reach out to us at 361-643-2323 to find out more ways we can assist in improving life both for you and a senior you love!