4 Ways to Make Sure a Loved One with Dementia Takes Medication

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For seniors with dementia, it can be difficult to trust people or make sense of the world around them. If your elderly loved one with dementia experiences these feelings of confusion and suspicion, he or she may also begin to resist doing important everyday activities, such as eating or taking his or her medications. To ensure your loved one takes the medications he or she needs to stay healthy, try the following strategies. 

1. Try Liquid Medications

Some of your loved one’s pills could be too large and difficult to swallow. Whether aging adults have dementia or another health condition, swallowing pills can often be challenging for them. If your loved one refuses to take medication because he or she is uncomfortable with swallowing pills, ask your loved one’s physician if there are liquid alternatives available.

Professional caregivers with training and expertise in dementia care can often identify the reasons for seniors’ reluctance to take medication. Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Victoria families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care.

2. Distract Your Loved One

For seniors with dementia who experience paranoia and delusions, offering them medications can lead to discomfort and extreme suspicion. However, presenting the medication without ceremony can sometimes prevent this type of reaction. Start a conversation about something pleasant, such as a favorite family memory, then casually hand your loved one the medication as he or she is speaking. This way, your loved one may unthinkingly take the medication without becoming suspicious.

You might also consider offering your loved one a treat as a reward for taking his or her medication. For instance, you could place a piece of chocolate in front of your loved one and say it will be a treat after he or she takes the medication. Such treats can also serve to take away any bitter taste medications may leave behind, and your loved one may begin to associate taking medicine with a positive experience.

3. Hide Medication in Food or Drink

If you’re unable to distract your loved one so he or she takes medications without noticing, putting them into foods or drinks can hide the bad taste as well as prevent feelings of suspicion. For liquid medication, prepare a tea or other food item you can mix the medication into. For pills, crush them and add to drinks or soft foods such as applesauce. However, never crush up a pill without asking your loved one’s physician or pharmacist, as some pills contain special coatings or are meant to be time-released and shouldn’t be broken down.

A trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Victoria home care service providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

4. Ask About Sprays

For medications that aren’t available in liquid form and can’t be crushed up, there’s another alternative. Certain pills can be sprayed with a liquid that makes them slippery and easier to swallow, so consider asking your loved one’s doctor if he or she can recommend or prescribe a good pill spray for this purpose.

If your loved one with dementia is avoiding taking medications, these suggestions can help you handle his or her care more effectively. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (250) 592-4881 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.

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