For elderly individuals with Alzheimer’s, the world around them can be scary or confusing. If your senior loved one experiences feelings of suspicion, confusion, or fear, as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, he or she may resist important daily tasks, like taking his or her medications. The senior care experts at Home Care Assistance of Bloomfield suggest trying the following five strategies to help encourage your senior loved one to take his or her medications.
1. Give Brief Explanations
Avoiding lengthy explanations for why your loved one should take their medications are likely to backfire. Complex arguments and information can confuse an individual with Alzheimer’s or make him or her feel threatened. Keep explanations simple and be prepared to try again later if your loved one refuses the medication.
2. Offer Reminders
As the symptoms of Alzheimer’s progress, your loved one may forget when or how to take their medications. You can help by having a Bloomfield Alzheimer’s caregiver provide medication reminders or by asking family members to remind him or her of the steps in the process, including putting the pill in his or her mouth, swallowing, and drinking the water. This will prevent your loved one from holding the pills in the mouth and spitting them out when they become bitter.
3. Create a Positive Association
Being associating medication time with something your loved one enjoys. Your family member may be more likely to take medication if he or she know it will be followed by his or her favorite dessert or activity. You can also offer to take your medicine along with your loved one, or pretend to take medication by using a few M&Ms or skittles.
4. Try Hiding Medication
You may find your loved one is more receptive to medications if they are crushed and mixed with yogurt, jam, or another favorite food. Make sure you talk to a pharmacist or doctor before doing this since some medications cannot be crushed. In some cases, the doctor may be able to prescribe the medication in a different form, such as a liquid or a patch, that will be easier to administer.
5. Keep Things Light
One way to ease the anxiety around medication time is to turn it into a game. Playing your loved one’s favorite song and challenging him or her to finish the pills before the song ends can provide a competitive and playful way to make taking the medication fun. Reward your loved one with praise if he or she finishes the medication within the song.
If Alzheimer’s or another memory condition is making daily life challenging for your elderly loved one, he or she may benefit from the in-home assistance of an Alzheimer’s or dementia caregiver in Bloomfield. Expertly trained to help seniors with memory conditions by providing medication reminders, safety monitoring, emotional support, and companionship, a caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help your loved one stay happy, healthy, and safe in his or her own home. To learn more about our senior care options, dial 248.283.0835 and speak with a Care Manager to schedule a free in-home consultation.