Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What Do You Do When an Alzheimer's Patient Refuses to Take Their Medication

One of the problems that Alzheimer's care partners often face is the refusal of the person living with Alzheimer's to take their medications.

Ask, Seek, Knowldege

This problem is very common.

Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's care partners often become frustrated when the person living with dementia refuses. This in turn leads the patient to become harder to deal with.

One of the most common mistakes caregivers make is to try and convince the patient to take the meds by using lots of words, and repeatedly explaining why they should take the medicine.

In fact it is better to use the most simple approach.

First, sit down and make eye contact with the person.

Second, smile before you get started, and wait for a return smile.

They put the medication in your hand, and hold it out without saying a word. This is a nonverbal approach that can work very well if you try it for a while, and be patient.

Refuse the temptation to speak. Remain quite, and just hold the pill out in your hand in front of them.

This really worked well with my mother. I will admit she often balked at first. But, I just held the pill out and kept my mouth shut.

It might seem to you like this approach takes a long time. 15-30 seconds can seem like an eternity in this scenario.

Here are two article that I would recommend for your reading.

Please feel free to share this information wtih family, friends, and relatives. You might also share this in Alzheimer's or dementia support groups.