What Should I Do when My Older Parent Won’t Take His or Her Medication?

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What to Do When a Senior Parent Won't Take Medication in Mississauga, ON

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 homecare services. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

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 family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elderly home care, Mississauga Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

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 rumours about a potential side effect. For example, he or she 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, Mississauga, ON, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call 905-337-1200 today.


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