Jan 16, 2015

Google - How do you get a pill down an Alzheimer's patient

This practical method will teach you how to get an Alzheimer's patient to take their pills (medication).

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimers


I couldn't resist the temptation so this is what I decided to publish here on the Alzheimer's Reading Room this morning,

How do you get a pill down an Alzheimer's patient

Believe it or not, a new reader came to the ARR after entering those keywords into a Google search box.

There is no doubt that this is one of the biggest problems that Alzheimer's caregivers face.

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Like most, I took the dummy approach at the beginning. I tried to convince my mother how important it was for her to take her medication. I tried to convince her in every way imaginable. It didn't work.

I did this even though she would most often say no; or, I don't take any pills - I'm a healthy old broad. Dotty could be pretty funny and entertaining at times as many of you know.

Okay, let me get to it.


Keep it simple stupid. Hey, don't get all bent out of shape I was stupid once upon a time myself.

Here is how you do it.
  1. Get or buy a very small glass. Like a very small juice glass. That is what I did. This way the glass of water will be small and less intimidating to a person living with Alzheimer's.
  2. Start talking to your loved one, and make sure you connect with a smile. Don't sneak up on them with the medication.
  3. Place the small glass of water in front of them; and then, hold out one pill at a time in the palm of your hand in front of them.
  4. Read these words carefully.
  5. Keep you mouth shut.
  6. Just stand there and wait with the pill in hand.
Let me tell you something, waiting 30 seconds or so with your mouth shut might seem like an eternity. It did to me at first. But once it started working I stopped complaining; and, to be honest - was filled with a feeling of accomplishment.

Now I know from experience that many people will say -

Nothing Works.

Well how do you know it doesn't work if you don't try it.

Yes, you have to be patient. It might take a while to work. You might have to practice for a week or so before it starts working well, Be patient.

Just so you know.

Persons living with dementia do want to cooperate with us. However, if you start blabbing away, using a lot of words to explain why they should do something, all you really accomplish is confusing them.

Keep it simple.

It Works.

You can also read the longer version here.

How Do You Get an Alzheimer's Patient To Take Their Medication


I'm still laughing about those Google keywords. I know how exasperated a caregiver can feel.



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Bob DeMarco  is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide.
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