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Convincing Your Senior Loved One to Take a Prescribed Medication

By Kevin McClarren, 9:00 am on

Taking prescribed medication is often a normal part of a senior’s daily routine. However, there are certain situations that may cause your elderly loved one to stop taking the medicine he or she needs to stay healthy. Here are a few situations that may arise and what you can do to help.

If He or She Claims to Feel Fine

Your loved one may not understand the purpose of a particular medication and why it is necessary. Many health conditions, such as high blood pressure, don’t have obvious symptoms but can be dangerous if untreated. Have the pharmacist explain to your loved one that the medication is necessary even when he or she is feeling fine. You may even try telling your loved one the medications are for maintaining health and not because he or she is sick.

If the Pills Taste Bad or Are Difficult to Swallow

You can try mixing the pills with pudding, applesauce, or another food your loved one enjoys to help mask the taste. If your loved one has difficulty swallowing, you can try crushing the pills first. However, it is important to note some medications cannot be chewed or crushed, so check with a pharmacist first. You can also ask the pharmacist if the medication comes in a liquid or another form that is easier to administer.

If There Are Too Many Pills

Many seniors receiving at-home care in Warren have prescriptions from multiple doctors and specialists. This can create a problem known as polypharmacy, where a senior takes multiple medications for the same condition. In many cases, these drugs can cancel each other out or cause dangerous side effects. If your loved one believes he or she is taking too many medications, arrange an appointment with his or her primary physician to review each medication and determine which ones are still necessary.

If There Are Uncomfortable Side Effects

You should ask the doctor if the particular side effect your loved one is experiencing is normal and if it should resolve with time. If the side effect is temporary, try to reassure your loved one the unpleasantness will pass. If he or she still won’t take the medication or if the side effect is long-term, ask the doctor about alternatives.

Though the caregivers at Home Care Assistance cannot administer medication, they can still be a great help for your loved one. Our caregivers are available 24/7 for timely medication reminders, and they can also provide transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, pick up prescriptions, and help with a wide variety of other daily tasks. For seniors who need more extensive assistance, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care in Warren. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Care Managers, call 908.450.9400 today.