1. Splat88

    Splat88 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2005
    MIL has for the last few days ( weeks, not sure now) been resisting taking her medication, I first noticed a stockpile of pills in her bedroom when helping look for a lost wardrobe key ( another story, she suddenly after 3 years felt the need to lock her wardrobe door, and then of course couldn't find where she'd put the key!)
    I started to watch what she was doing, and she now folds up her pills in a bit of tissue or her hanky until she can dispose of them. Last night, I watched her for over 30 mins in an effort to make sure she took her Aricept, after her finding all sorts of excuses, her tea was too hot, she'd take it in a minute, No, I didn't need to get her any water.

    I did think that keep finding the pills on the floor was because she forgot and knocked them off her tray, but it's become evident she is avoiding taking them. She will ony take the one Beta Adelat because she thinks it's an iron tablet!!!

    What do I do now? I'm all for allowing AD patients to make their own decisions, but she has to take the Aricept, 2 different blood pressure tabs, an anti depressant and a water tablet, too.
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    It's a tough one. How does she respond to instructions from "people in authority"? Some people have persuaded their loved ones to take meds by saying "OK, but YOU have to tell the doctor". My mother responds to "they were prescribed for you and you have to take them" but then she's used to me (and her carers) being pushy. She moans and groans about it, but she takes them. What about fear? I know it sounds terrible, but the reality is that if she has hypertension, if she doesn't take the BP pills she's at a vastly increased risk of a stroke, and if you mean a diuretic, if she doen't take those her legs will swell, plus the BP issue.

    Having said all that - could this be a rational (sort of) decision on her part? I hate to mention it, but in certain circumstances I could see someone refusing to take their meds simply because they don't like the life they have.

  3. jan.

    jan. Registered User

    Apr 19, 2006
    Cheshire, UK.
    #3 jan., Jan 10, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2007
    Hi Splatt88,

    Welcome to T.P. :)

    Just a thought.......is MIL afraid that someone is trying to poison her??? As paranoia affects them quite badly at certain stages of the illness.

    I had to get quite assertive when my dad went through the "don`t want to" stage, but when it was explained (several times........) why he had to take his meds and reassured him that i wasn`t trying to poison him, just help, he accepted it. It`s hard, but try every angle you feel is right to achieve your objective. Perseverence and patience are definitely a virtue in dealing with this disease.

    Good Luck, and keep us informed of how you get on.

  4. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    before my mums diagnosis we has trouble with her taking her tabs it got so bad we took her to the hospital becouse at the time she was on heart medication becouse of a heart attack, the doctors there told us there wasnt anything they could do as they couldnt force anyone to take medication.
    our only remedy was to keep trying to persuade her over a number of hours till she agreed.
    now she's been diagnosed she still has times where she refuses point blank so the nurses just leave her for a while and try again later.
    her excuse for not taking it was she wanted to give it to people who really needed it :confused:
    i think it was just her way of saying im ok theres nothing wrong with me.
    good luck with it its a tough one to crack
    take care
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Splat88 ...

    Probably won't help much but to share this with you ....

    Today is exactly ‘one week’ of mum taking Aricept … one week in which I believed the ‘phone prompt’ to take it with breakfast (as suggested by the Psych-Ger - I realise there are different thoughts on ’timing’) ….. and the empty ‘pouch’ I check later in the day usually when I can get there after work ….. I thought proved to me all was well …

    Mum reported to me after a couple of days she had ‘the runs’ - reassured her this had been discussed with Psych-G and CPN and could she persevere for a week until any side effects settled? Today, mum reports her tummy is settled now - in fact she’s had to go back to using suppositories??????

    Relate conversation as an aside in a phone call to her sister who has been told by mum (on Day 2 - never thought to relay it to me but that's another story!) ‘I’m not taking them anymore … the doctor never wanted me to have them but THAT WOMAN AT HOSPITAL insisted’……. (‘that woman’ assumedly being Psych-Ger who has only ever visited at home … or perhaps she meant me?????? ) …..

    I still can’t believe she actually got Aricept prescribed in the first place … and the horrible bit of me is cross with mum she has something that others are fighting for….. and for some reason is now refusing to take it (and yet making a pretence to me that she is?) ...

    I actually wonder that 'stockpiling' is the answer .... the cash mum wants to 'stash', the empty cartons 'that might come in useful' ..... the bread a day old I insist on throwing away - 'No, I'm SAVING that'??????? (Found about ten years' supply of Paracetomal recently when I was looking for a clean handkerchief for her).

    Wish I knew .... have reached the point myself where I am going to have to INSIST (against her wishes but in her best interests? - not comfy with that) - that a 'carer' comes in once a day at a prescribed time when I can't physically be there to WITNESS her taking all prescribed medication and not 'sidelining' it somewhere ..... or change the timing recommended, or .....

    Sorry, rambled, but pick anything out of that you can .....

    Much love, Karen, x
  6. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Been there, done that:eek:

    Went through the same thing with mum and her Aricept.............. I think at first it was because of the 'upset' tummy.......... this did settle though............ she used to have to take them in the evening.............so I would phone and 'prompt' her, didnt work............ found them all over the place.

    Then we had the 'there is nothing wrong with me, dont need them'........... so her Consultant did another home visit when we explained the situation..... and she took them no problem for a while.

    When we sorted out her home when she moved to the NH, we found them all over the place.............boxes of them.

    Then I got the message, she wouldnt take them because we told her to:eek:

    She is just the same in the NH now, however, they handle it by saying they will get in serious trouble with the boss if she doesnt take her medication, they have even gone as far to say they will get dismissed, so she takes them.

    Its a really difficult one.............as was said earlier you cannot make someone take medication, even if you manage to reason with them............odds on they will forget all your reasoning..............

    Sorry not to be able to offer any really valuable advice, you just has to play it as best you can.

  7. Splat88

    Splat88 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2005
    Thanks for the input everyone, seems I will just have to keep trying. It's the Aricept at night, it means me sitting watching her for an hour or so, as she rolls it in a hanky, pushes it to the back of her tray, picks it up, then drops it cos she's forgotten she's holding it!! The worst is when she takes it off into her bedroom, then I have no ideas what happens to it until I find them all stashed away several days later.

    I have tried the Dr thing, telling her they wouldn't give them to her if she didn't need them, sometimes works. When she's at the clinic or the hospital she does as she's told like a lamb, just moans about it all the time to me ( your determined to find something wrong with me!)

    The worry is that if she keeps doing this with the blood pressure and diuretics, she'll have a stroke and it will be my fault for not making sure she took them.

    It's the number of tablets (4) she seems to object to " I only used to take one". I think that paranoia comes into it as well, she now leaves at least half a cup of tea, makes me wonder if she thinks I'm trying to put something in it.
  8. jan.

    jan. Registered User

    Apr 19, 2006
    Cheshire, UK.
    Hi again Splatt88,

    Would your MIL take her meds if you got the help of a carer, to come in, give her some tea and make sure she took her tea-time meds? If so, maybe you could talk to her s.w. about it?

    Good luck,
  9. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
  10. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    #10 Nebiroth, Jan 12, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2007
    I quite agree with that!

    Oh one last thought - is it possible that your Mum is finding it physically difficult to actually swallow the tablets? But that she is unable or unwilling to articulate this to you? Many tablets taste awful if you don't get them down in the first swallow and they start to dissolve in your mouth. This could explain her reluctance to take them.

    My poor Mum has a terrible time swallowing pills.

    In which case you might see if there are ones that are easier to swallow (smaller, perhaps, or capsule form), or even liquid forms?
  11. Splat88

    Splat88 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2005
    Thanks Nell, and Nebiroth. I suppose I know I shouldn't feel responsible, but you just do, don't you? You may be right about the swallowing, but she always has had a strange way of swallowing pills, she drinks first and then puts the pill in and tosses her head back to swallow it without the drink!!!

    I'll have to persevere on my own, as she doesn't have any carer's apart from myself and her son.
  12. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    Well before the dementia set in My mother was dodging taking her Blood pressure pills and diueretics etc

    Her rational was she had taken pills for years and they had done no good

    After she collapsed and was in hospital she refused point blank to take her pills other than the odd occasion when they cajoled her

    The end result was of course an assault of mini strokes which weakened her brain and body so that infection took her

    For her it was an end to her suffering and indignity and for us an end to having to watch it

    Quality of life versus quantity everytime as far as i am concerned
  13. Nels

    Nels Registered User

    Jul 25, 2006
    Romford Essex
    Oh boy does all this sound familiar - and there is more! Mum has Az but actually gets very upset and aggressive if she is not given her warfarin at 6pm on the dot, this is because she has been on them for several years and was told she had to take them at a set time, actually as long as it is an hour either side it is fine but since the Az kicked in the watches the clock like a hawk, and if we are out she still watches it. She is not so keen on other tablets like the aricept but touch wood has not resorted to hiding them yet, although we did have a couple of days when she said she had not taken those tablets as there was no one about to tell her to take them! But she knew she had not taken them.

    MIL is another story, she is in hospital at the moment, amongst other things CT showed hydrocelphalus (sp), which apparently is quite common in the elderly but can present dementia symptons amongst other, they are going to do a MRI and a lumbar puncture, if there is a small improvement after the LP they may insert a shunt, but there was also a lot of atrophy on the CT scan, anyway I digress, she stopped taking quite a few of her tablets a while ago, unbeknown to us, when eventually asked, told me that someone told her asprin would kill her etc etc. I believe she has always had a deep rooted psychiatric problem, years ago she always insisted the people next door were talking about her, and was prone to panic attackes and became very anxious about the smallest thing. She refused to have our retired next door neighbour in to do some decorating, only wanted hubby, one room was done but I am afraid that I put my foot down after that as I can't get anything done indoors by him and also it would have helped out neighbour out financially, she steadfastly continued to refuse.

    We will wait and see whether it is a more permanent form of dementia, possibly vascular, I feel it is not Az because of the paranioa and the way it fluctuates, and it is so different from mums Az.
  14. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    There are times when my husband has refused to take his medication, either we have had an arguement and it`s been pure bl**dy mindedness, or because he`s convinced they are making him worse. There have been times when he`s taken MY medication, even though I`d `hidden` my dosage in a cupboard.
    I put out our medication, every day, in seperate egg cups. I take mine, and offer him his at the appropriate times. He usually accepts, but if he refuses, there`s nothing I can do.
    Once, before his diagnosis, he told our GP he didn`t want any more tablets. The GP said if that were the case, he`d just record that medication was offered and refused.
    I think that`s all any of us can do.

    P.S. My husband has also complained that his tablets are getting bigger. I wonder if there is some narrowing of the oesophagus or even a weakening of the muscles in the oesophagus.

  15. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    This could be caused because her throat feels as though it is "closing up" in anticipation of swallowing the pill - you think you're going to have trouble swallowing, so you get anxious about it, this makes swallowing more difficult, sensations of choking, etc. A sip of drink before taking a pill can ease this sensation. This is exactly the situation with my Mum (who doesn't have AD, by the way, but does have awful trouble with pills, even little ones).

    It may also be that you Mum used to be able to take the pill down with a sip of drink, but can't co-ordinate well enough to do this any more, or has forgotten how.

    Most pills taste very nasty if you don't swallow them right off, and this combined with having trouble swallowing, would be enough to make anyone reluctant to take them.

    In which case, you could try tactful enquiries about trouble swallowing, though you might well be met with denial or excuses.

    It would be worth talking to the GP to see if there are more palatable or easier to swallow forms of the medication.

    My Mum switched to a soluble form of her biggest pills which was a relief!
  16. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    You're probably aware of this, but there's "rules" around carers giving medication or checking that people are taking medication. In order for dad's carers to supervise him taking his medication he had to have it dispensed in "nomad" boxes at the pharmacy. Otherwise the carers aren't insured against risk of prompting the person to take the "wrong" medication as the wrong times.
  17. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    As an add on to what Aine said - if you, (or anyone else) decides to go to these pre-packs, check at various chemists for lead times. Where my mother used to live (deepest darkest Lincolnshire) the only chemist to make these up was Boots, and in order to get them the prescriptions had to be in the store by the second week of the month, they were packed sometime the third week, and then available for pickup in the 4th week, which was quite a long lead time. However, where she now lives, the local privately owned chemist can get the script on Tuesday and have it ready in pre-packs by Thursday.

  18. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    that's a useful point jennifer - i'd not realised that. my dad was blessed with a lovely local chemist, where he'd always gone for his prescriptions for years and years. the woman there recognised his name when i took the script in and went out of her way to make it as easy as possible. she set it up so they got the repeat scripts from the doctor's, could deliver it on dad's "bath and cleaning morning" so they knew there would be carers there to open the door, and I could pop in and pay them whenever i got chance - "don't worry about it love, we won't let him go without his medication". [sorry that's going a bit off topic, but I just wanted to share one of the postiive things that happened]
  19. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Blimey! After many years of doing so for Jan, ages ago, this is the first i knew that!

    Valuable information. Well done.
  20. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    I mean paid carers, not relatives Bruce ...... sorry I should have made that more clear.

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