What to Do when an Elderly Parent Won’t Take Medication

Nearly every adult child who provides home care for an aging parent or grandparent will experience a time when the senior refuses to take medication. As opposed to a senior who may forget to take medicine, one who refuses to take his or her medication presents different and more difficult challenges. 

The first thing any caregiver should do is look for a proactive solution. This includes a talk with your senior loved one to learn why the medication is being refused. If the reason is something simple, such as taste, an equally simple solution may be found. In other cases, look for more creative solutions. Working through the problem rather than trying to force your loved one to take the medicine will save time and patience.

Check for Difficulty Swallowing or Ingesting the Medication

Your loved one may have difficulty swallowing pills, or his or her medication may cause stomach upset. In these situations, talk to the pharmacist to determine if a liquid form is available or whether a substitute medication in another form is an option.

Address Confusion about Why the Medication Is Necessary

This situation is more common than many people understand. But with doctors having less and less time, it often happens that seniors don’t understand the need for their medication. If possible, schedule a consultation with the doctor, who can clearly explain your loved one’s condition, how the medication will help, and the health risks of failing to take the medication as prescribed.

A home caregiver can provide reminders for your loved one to take his or her medication. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. You can rely on Angel Touch Home Care to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health.

Calm Your Parent’s Worries about an Adverse Reaction

All medications come with a slight risk of an adverse reaction. Though the risk may be minimal, it might be enough to frighten your loved one. This fear may be due to your parent not understanding how low the risk actually is. A 1 in 10,000 chance of an adverse reaction is far different from a 50 percent chance. Make sure your loved one understands how small the chance of an adverse reaction may be.

Ensuring your loved one takes medication properly when he or she doesn’t want to can be exhausting. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional elder care, Boca Raton Angel Touch Home Care should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.

Help Your Parent Minimize Side Effects

Many people who take medication experience side effects and eventually try to avoid the medication altogether. Minimizing the effects of the medication may help in some cases. For instance, medications that cause drowsiness should only be given at bedtime (or before a midday nap). Solutions may come from the doctor, pharmacist, or online research. Advice from a support group related to the same medical condition might also be a valuable resource.

In some cases, your loved one may have heard rumors about a potential side effect. For example, your parent may have heard a blood pressure medication causes hair loss. In these instances, if assurances from the doctor or pharmacist don’t help, try finding a person who takes the same medication and ask him or her to speak to your loved one. Often, your loved one may trust someone who uses the medication more than his or her own doctor or caregiver.

Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Boca Raton, FL, Angel Touch Home Care can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to arrange transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Angel Touch Home Care today.