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Advice for monitoring prescribed drugs to someone with dementia who lives alone

Miss Elli

Registered User
Apr 9, 2020
18
Mum has an infection and was prescribed antibiotics, she lives alone so I have been making calls to prompt her to take the drugs at the correct time, but visiting this weekend it appears Mum has pretty much taken 7 days dosage of drugs over a 2 day period! When they were prescribed I made her GP aware of the problems, I knew she would either not take them, take too many, or hide and lose them in the house, the GP suggested I would have to visit daily to monitor, but I don't live near Mum and I work full time. Mum has no friends or neighbours who can help or any other family members....I don't know what to do for the best...any suggestions from anyone who has found themselves in this situation, is there a system out there that can be recommended and most importantly works.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,467
Mum started off with a Pivotell machine to help to remind her to take her medication. You can set a timer for when the medication is due and an alarm then goes off. This will only work if you think that your mum will understand it - mum got to the point where she got confused about why the alarm was going off, plus we found some tablets on the floor.

The only way to ensure that mum took her tablets at the right time - when the family were not able to go and visit to monitor this - was to put carers in place. It's really important that your mum takes the anti-biotics as infections can cause chaos in those with dementia and I'm not sure that taking the whole lot over 2 days rather than 7 will cause problems, speak to her GP about that. As the medication only needs to be given for a short period of time could you arrange for carers to go in at the times when the medication is due, to supervise your mum to make sure that she remembers to take them?
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
579
I'm afraid I agree with Louise, the only way we were able to ensure that mum took daily medication was for someone to call round every day and keep the remaining tablets in a locked tin. A combination lock worked better than a key. We managed with a combination of carers three days a week and family the rest of the week.
 

Miss Elli

Registered User
Apr 9, 2020
18
Thank you for the replies and help. I'm now looking at timed release dispensers though fear Mum will just hide it out of sight. Will start making calls to care providers t/m and also call her GP to update on the situation and I assume get some more anti biotics! These days I seem to have more and more boxes to tick!
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,467
I'm now looking at timed release dispensers though fear Mum will just hide it out of sight.
Mum's dispenser was provided free of charge by social services so might be worth contacting them to see if they can provide this service for your mum.
 

Miss Elli

Registered User
Apr 9, 2020
18
Mum's dispenser was provided free of charge by social services so might be worth contacting them to see if they can provide this service for your mum.
Thanks for the suggestion. We have Adult Social Care in place starting just this week for lunches, though I have been told they can't and won't administer drugs or prompt BUT I will def ask about a drug dispenser as they are so expensive to buy which would be fine if I knew for sure it would work ... unfortunately Mum is becoming very skilled at hiding things, mainly anything new that comes into her home!!!!!
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
681
Our Pivotell with tipper is gaffer taped to the bedside cabinet.
It also has a label saying pull blue handle down. Just in case she goes blank and can’t remember what to do with it.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,374
My mother in law had carers to ensure she took tablets. She needed the physical presence of someone to hand out medication and prompt her. She would have just ignored any alarms or phone calls to remind her
 

Onename

New member
Sep 28, 2020
5
Mum has an infection and was prescribed antibiotics, she lives alone so I have been making calls to prompt her to take the drugs at the correct time, but visiting this weekend it appears Mum has pretty much taken 7 days dosage of drugs over a 2 day period! When they were prescribed I made her GP aware of the problems, I knew she would either not take them, take too many, or hide and lose them in the house, the GP suggested I would have to visit daily to monitor, but I don't live near Mum and I work full time. Mum has no friends or neighbours who can help or any other family members....I don't know what to do for the best...any suggestions from anyone who has found themselves in this situation, is there a system out there that can be recommended and most importantly works.
Miss Elli, Reading the Threads regarding safe support for medication.since my father died nearly three years ago, I have set mums tablets out In daily doset box’s that sit in a weekly tray. This worked well until she began to forget to take the doset daily strip into the lounge where she has breakfast.
It has been a great bugbear that the excellent morning daily Carers who come from an excellent Care agency, have never been allowed to remind her to take her tablets or hand the daily strip box to her as a direct reminder to take them. I have finally bowed down and now the agency will directly administer the tablets and I leave the meds and the pharmacy box’s they come in for them to do this and it seems to work.
Mum is so far compliant though. The idea of a lockable box somewhere for the Carers, seems a good idea. Maybe a trial with the daily strip even if just for the anti-biotics. I even looked out the CQC website for their rules on Carers administering meds. I still can’t see why paid carer cannot Hand a doset box to a client or verbally remind them to take their meds. It has taken away a little of mum’s Independence.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,672
South coast
I still can’t see why paid carer cannot Hand a doset box to a client or verbally remind them to take their meds.
I think the point is that they cannot give or prompt about unknown tablets. They can only prompt/give tablets that are in their original packaging with the pharmacy label on it showing the clients name, so that they know that the client has been prescribed these tablets.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,207
Dorset
I found administering antibiotics to The Banjoman was a nightmare, I never managed to get one full prescription into him at the correct times. Even with carers coming in, their arrival times were so erratic that nothing was given on a regular basis.