Jul 17, 2015

She won't take her medication, no matter what I say or do

As caregiver we often face the same kinds of problems. High on the list is the inability to get a person living with dementia to cooperate.

What do we do when this happens? Often we complain to anyone that will listen, and just as often we give up. I know what this feels like from my own personal experience.

She won't take her medication, no matter what I say or do
The consequences of failing to take medication are onerous and often dire. In the case of Alzheimer's meds the patients memory may decline faster, and their behavior might be more challenging. This can also result in poorer health, more doctors visits and trips to the emergency room. Things that every caregiver wants to avoid.

Four days ago, I met a caregiver that goes into the home, and was helping care for a person living with Alzheimer's disease.

She said to me - She won't take her medication, no matter what I say or do.

A common problem to which I have a simple solutions that often works. In this case the caregiver called me last night and said - "I can believe it, it works".


By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

While I was talking with the caregiver the first time,  I asked her the same question I always ask - how are you trying to get her to take her medication. The answer is almost always the same.

We try to convince, cajole and threaten the patient. In other words we say, if you don't take your medication something bad will happen. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah.

It doesn't work.

All you have to do is jump onto Facebook or other support group websites on the Internet and you will hear (see) caregivers complaining about what their loved one won't do. Complain. Complain while failing to discover a solution that works. I am not chastising anyone - I did the same thing myself for quite a long time.

If you are having a problem getting a patient to take their medication read this and learn a solution that could work for you.


Some of the more common problems include:
  • the inability to get a person living with dementia to take a shower,
  • the refusal to brush their teeth,
  • problems with eating,
  • and one of the biggest and most important problems - getting our loved one to take their medication.
If you haven't read these articles you might want to do it. You should also consider sharing this information on Facebook. You will get lots of opportunities to do so in the form of helping someone.

5 Tips, How to get an Alzheimer's Patient to Shower

How to Get An Alzheimer's Patient to Brush Their Teeth

16 Ways to Get a Dementia Patient to Eat More Food


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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. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,900 articles and 368,000 links. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

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