“I’m healthy as a horse. I don’t need that medication.”
If you’ve heard a senior relative proclaim this or any other sentiment to make a case for refusing to take prescribed medication, you understand how frustrating and concerning it is. There are numerous reasons someone may balk at following doctors’ instructions, from denial to Alzheimer’s and everything in between. The truth, though, is that the health care provider advises that the medications be taken; therefore, it’s crucial that you ensure their orders are followed.
Communicate with the Senior
When possible, see if you can find out the key reason why the person is refusing to take meds. They could be suffering from unpleasant effects, like dizziness, upset stomach, changes in how food tastes, weakness, etc. In the event that elderly individual is not able to articulate the main cause, keep a journal to make note of any changes in mood or behavior after medications are taken. Also look for nonverbal cues that could suggest the senior is dealing with physical discomfort, such as changes in sleep patterns, grimacing, or holding a hand on the stomach area.
Consult with the Physician
Schedule a consultation with the senior’s health care provider to let them know about the problem. See if there’s room for modification in any of the prescribed medicines, particularly in the event of negative side effects. It could be that certain treatments can be placed on hold for the present time, while some are essential and life-saving. You can also ask the physician to consult with the person to reiterate the importance of taking medicines as prescribed. Oftentimes, hearing instructions directly from a respected professional will carry more weight than from a relative of a senior who is reluctant to take medications.
Explore Alternate Formats
If pills are hard to swallow, check to see if they could be crushed or broken in half. If a liquid medication has a bad taste, see if other flavors are available, or if perhaps it can be mixed with food to help conceal the taste. There are often several techniques to modify how a medication is taken. The physician or pharmacist can provide suggestions.
Caring for an older loved one who does not want to adhere to recommended medical advice can be quite stressful. However, expressing your frustrations can worsen an already challenging situation and make the older person dig their heels in even further. It is important to prioritize the time needed for taking care of yourself to make certain your stress levels remain in check so you’ll have the patience needed to maintain a calm attitude.
Let Live Free Home Health Care, a trusted provider of home care services in Bristol, NH and the nearby areas, help with medication reminder services from one of our experienced, skilled, and trained senior care experts. We can help ensure doctors’ orders are followed, so you can step away from that particular role and simply take pleasure in spending some time with your senior loved one. Our medication reminder services are just one small part of the many home care services we provide, too. Contact us at 603-217-0149 to find out more ways we can help to improve life for both you and a senior you love!