How to Get an Obstinate Older Loved One to Take Medicine

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Tips for Getting a Stubborn Senior to Take Medication in Green Valley, AZ

Seniors who refuse to take medication, regardless of the reason, may be putting their health at risk. This is a common problem many caregivers find themselves facing at some point. Trying to get your senior loved one to take medication can be exhausting and frustrating, but there are some tips you can try. 

Request Liquid or Dissolvable Formulas

You can’t force your loved one to take medication, but the doctor may approve crushing the medication up or hiding it if your loved one’s medication is absolutely essential. Dissolvable medications can be easier to take because there’s no need to swallow a pill whole, and your loved one can’t hide it under his or her tongue to spit out later. Seek doctor approval to mix liquid medication in with juice to disguise the taste. 

For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Green Valley, AZ, Embrace In-Home Care is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

Reduce the Number of Medications

Many seniors refuse or forget to take medication because they’re simply taking so many pills each day. Try creating an updated list of your loved one’s medications to discuss with his or her doctor. Some medications may not be absolutely necessary, and eliminating them—even temporarily—can make your loved one feel less overwhelmed about taking his or her meds. 

For seniors who want to stay healthy, it’s important 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 Embrace In-Home Care, a leading home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Consider the Reason for the Refusal

Don’t assume your loved one is just being stubborn or difficult. There may be a reason he or she doesn’t want to take medication. Your loved one may not like the way the medication makes him or her feel or may have difficulty swallowing the pill. He or she may even be worried because a friend experienced a serious side effect after taking the same medication, or there may be financial problems behind the refusal. In many cases, there may be a solution to your loved one’s problem, such as a different formulation. 

Put Your Loved One in Charge

Sometimes refusing medications is just a response to a loss of control and feeling rushed or scared, especially in seniors with dementia or other forms of memory impairment. Try explaining what’s happening calmly, and give your loved one the time he or she needs. Encourage participation by setting out the pills with a glass of water. Some seniors don’t mind taking medications but have difficulty keeping track of dosing schedules. 

In Green Valley, home care service providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Embrace In-Home Care are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (520) 625-2050 today.


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