Taking prescribed medication is often a normal part of a senior’s daily routine. However, there are certain situations that may cause your elderly loved one to stop taking the medicine he or she needs to stay healthy. Here are a few situations that may arise and what you can do to help.
If He or She Claims to Feel Fine
Your loved one may not understand the purpose of a particular medication and why it’s necessary. Many health conditions, such as high blood pressure, don’t have obvious symptoms but can be dangerous if left untreated. Have the pharmacist explain to your loved one that the medication is necessary even when he or she is feeling fine. You may even try telling your loved one the medications are for maintaining health and not because he or she is sick.
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If the Pills Taste Bad or Are Difficult to Swallow
You can try mixing the pills with pudding, applesauce, or another food your loved one enjoys to mask the taste. If your loved one has difficulty swallowing, you can try crushing the pills first. However, it’s important to note some medications cannot be chewed or crushed, so check with the pharmacist first. You can also ask the pharmacist if the medication comes in a liquid or another form that’s easier to take.
If There Are Too Many Pills
Many seniors have prescriptions from multiple doctors and specialists. This can create a problem known as polypharmacy, where a senior takes multiple medications for the same condition. In many cases, these drugs can cancel each other out or cause dangerous side effects. If your loved one believes he or she is taking too many medications, arrange an appointment with his or her physician to review each medication and determine which ones are still necessary.
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If There Are Uncomfortable Side Effects
You should ask the doctor if the particular side effect your loved one is experiencing is normal and if it should resolve with time. If the side effect is temporary, try to reassure your loved one the unpleasantness will pass. If he or she still won’t take the medication, or if the side effect is long-term, ask the doctor about alternatives.
For seniors who want to stay healthy, it’s important that they take their medications as prescribed by their physicians. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Highland Park home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (214) 363-3400 today.