At My wits end


Registered User
Jun 4, 2005
Life is getting very hard and difficult trying to cope with Anna my wife,now she is refusing to take her tablets,when I try to put them in her moth,she bites me,is getting violent but she claims no memory of such incidents.
She has bitten me,my daughter sarah,when she tried to give her her tablets,and kicked and me and hit me with her handbag,this is not the woman I married,though I would hesitate to see her placed in a home or whatever.
So what amm I to do???


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hiya Frederick
this is not the woman I married,
Thats the problem though isnt it - this is the woman that you married and loved and continue to do so - and maybe that is why it hurts all the more when she does these horrible things, because although you know that it is her illness, I think there is still that bit that says 'why are you doing this to me?'.
Sorry Frederick, I have no answers - hopefully someone else will come up with something soon.
Love Helen


Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
West Sussex
frederickgt said:
when I try to put them in her moth,she bites me,is getting violent but she claims no memory of such incidents.
I am sure she has no memory of doing these things, but as I see it, from her point of view, something is being put into her mouth and she doesn't know what or why, she may be frightened and that would explain the biting, she is trying to close her mouth, like a frightened patient in the dentist chair.

As Helen says it is the illness, but that makes it so much harder for you all, as there is no way to make her understand or reason with her.

As Anna is getting more violent, has her medication been reviewed recently?

I can't offer any practical advice, just to let you know I am listening and hope someone comes along with more help for you.



Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hello frederickgt, it's been a while since we heard from you.

You do not say which medications Anna is on. My advice would be to have a word with your GP. Most medications today can be found in liquid form, or patches.
All Lionel's meds. have been converted this way since he has been in care home.

Like Anna he refused to swallow, and yes, would bite. Liquids are easier to administer. Hope this helps. Take care now,


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi frederickgt

oh lord, it is so hard when we reach this stage!

The first thing to do is to try and get help to manage caring at home - have you got anything arranged at the moment?

When they get to this stage, the carer need breaks in each day, to recoup.

It is possible that whatever medication has previously been prescribed is no longer helpful, in which case a further assessment may be required, assessment of medications.
this is not the woman I married
I know it seems like that, but the tragedy is that Anna IS the woman you married, with the huge proviso that her ability to show that to you has been taken from her by the dementia. She may not ACT like the woman you married, SOUND like her, even LOOK like her any more, but, somewhere inside, she is there.

.... in my opinion.

I believed as you did when Jan was at this stage, but now, years later, I can see I was wrong.

Today, as I tried to get some response from her - something that is getting more elusive each day - after not detecting anything much for a week or two, I was talking away to her and instead of prefacing what I said with "Jan, " - I said what I haven't for a while now: I unconsciously said "Love,....."

Jan's face lit up in a huge smile. Jan never smiles these days. She smiled today.

We've been through all the difficult times when it was all taken out on me - the effects of dementia. Even has a knife chucked at me once. To Jan it was all my fault, I was stealing everything from her....

We've passed through that, and other later stages.

And still, with a carelessly said word, I get through to her. And she makes contact with me.
I would hesitate to see her placed in a home or whatever
and that should always be the first position we take, but it should never be the option we will never consider.

Try to explore other options first, but if that is the only one, just make sure the home is the best one that can be found and managed.

Take care


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
Must say I am not sticking up for your wife , saying what she is doing is right

when I try to put them in her moth,she bites me,is getting violent but she claims no memory of such incidents.
but I must say that if someone tried putting medication I did not want in my mouth and the only way to stop them, was to bite them I would

I know with my mother she did not want to take medication and they would be no way I would try to put them in her mouth as I am sure she would bite me also .

If I was you and my mother was so adornment in not taking mediation . I would go to the doctor to ask for advice

Find out about
Most medications today can be found in liquid form, or patches.
And I must say that My mother did go though a stage that she did not want to take her medication , for me I had to keep repeating what each tablet was , what the benefits was , every day that she was taking them , as she was getting very paranoid about the medication I was giving her .

I was going to ask for medication for paranoia , but that would mean more tablets more explaining . I must say I was glad when that stage finish and she take them ok now , but she till count them , even thought now she counts them wrong


Just a thought Do you think your wife may be paranoid about the medication ? as paranoia is part of the systems
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Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Margarita said:
but I must say that if someone tried putting medication I did not want in my mouth and the only way to stop them, was to bite them I would
wise words!

When the ability to reason with everyone is lost [and it must seem as if it is everyone else who is at fault], when they know there is something badly wrong, and when people suddenly try and make them take medication - for what?

Little wonder that communication must be taken to the lowest common denominator - short and sharp.

For us, it is so frustrating because we know we are only trying our best for them.

For me at least, there was always a huge element of respect for Jan's sheer spirit, and that remains even now.


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
The nightmare of medication………..

Mum has always been remarkable how she can store medication in her mouth, e.g. take tablets, drink a glass of water, do a big gulp, poke out her tongue to demonstrate it’s ‘all gone’, and her carers still find them in her pockets, handbag, behind the bed, glasses case etc. etc.

I catch a gleam in her eyes at medication time, I’m sure sometimes this is her way of having one last vestige of control over her life, half of me thinks good for you mum, and the other half thinks jeepers mum this is to help you.



Registered User
Jun 4, 2005
Thank you for TP,in answer to some of your queries,Anna is on Aricept 10mg,Zopiclone 3.75 mg Nifedipine 10mg (for blood presure)Gicazide 80mg for tye 2 diabetes,and Heminevrin 192 tablets of which she has to take two. I have tried putting them in her mouth because I have previously been finding them secreted all over the place,in future I will wear gardening gloves or use a spoon,though a liquid form sounds ideal
I was pleased to hear that I am not in the boat alone,now will you all sit down and stop rocking it!
Anna has a confusing time,she wants me to give her money so she can go home to her mother (Who has been dead more than 20 years)1 Now where did I put that Monopoly game!
I have tried hard to get another assesment and finally have succeded in getting an appointment in seven weeks time.
It got so bad with Anna biting and kicking me and sarah that I threatened her with calling the police and having her put away,for which I am deeply ashamed
Thanking you for talking point and the relef I find here!


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
No need for shame - we all say things when we are desperate and at the end of our tether and hurting.
Take care.
Love Helen

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Frederickgt

How I sympathize with your struggle with your wife`s wanting to go home to her mother. My husband is pining for the life he had on his grandparents farm and in the last 2 days has bought 2 train tickets to the place he thinks he will find it.

He has just informed me he will be going again tomorrow.

He has thrown his medication away or hidden it, and as he is diabetic too, the lack of medication is beginning to have a detrimental effect.

I wish I had an answer for you, or a solution, but I haven`t.


Registered User
Sep 13, 2005
Pgh. Pa. USA
Taking meds

Dear Frederickgt- As Connie mentioned previously, there are Compounding Labs today that can virtually take any medication and prescribe it in liquid, patch or suppository form. Also, you might try crushing the pills and putting the powder in ice cream, pudding or liquids. No easy solutions - trial and error - McK


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
While I know compounding pharmacies are available in the US (I've used them myself) I'm not certain that such an animal exists in the UK. Regarding crushing the pills, you'd need to be certain that doing so would not affect their efficaciousness: e.g some pills are time-release - if you crush them you potentially risk an overdose, some pills have a coating to stop them dissolving prematurely. You really need to check with your GP if your wife's particular prescriptions can be administered this way. If they can though, there's no reason (other than the potentially unpleasant taste) that they can't be given all in one go, provided they aren't pills that specifically say they should be given with other types of meds.

Edit to add: that should of course say "shouldn't be given with other types of meds". Sorry!
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Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
It's so hard, isn't it? My mum seems to accept everything now but there is one tiny tablet that she invariably accepts and then spits out across the bed so that the nurse and I go scrabbling through her bed sheets to try and find it. I try to coax and cajole and explain and say 'It's doctor's orders' but if she isn't minded to take it, she darned well won't. I even remind her of the days when she had a gang of tough little girl friends who called themselves The Spartans, and say that her Spartan friends would laugh if they saw her refusing such a weeny weeny pill. But of course it's no use. I just feel a failure.:(

I do agree that it is one of a very few ways in which my mum feels she has control over what is happening to her.
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Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
I would echo what Jennifer has said. Do check with the GP before doing things like crushing pills or dissolving them in drinks.

Many medicines are designed to be released when taken at a certain rate, delivering a given dose of drug over a given period of time - a "time release" system. This may be done by a special coating on the tablets ...etc.

Dissolving them in drinks or giving as powder in foods can completely change this, and could result in a much higher dose than is intended which could be dangerous..

It's possible that there are liquid formsof the medicine etc. You should see whoever prescribed the medicine, or consult the GP.


Registered User
Mar 22, 2007
Probably not much help in your situation but I got my mum to take her medicine very gleefully by telling her how lucky she was to be given it and most people would love to have all these special pills but I had made a secret arrangements with the nurse that it was especially for her.
The nurses played along with this and now mum just cant wait for medicine time!! If some other resident gets it too she is quite put out but usually she gets it in her room so she doesnt know everyone gets it.
She has a very jealous and possesive streak which might be why this works if I visit her she gets upset if I even smile at another resident and she says "thats MY daughter" (worse luck)

Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
Ronda Spain
Fredrick hi,

A short while ago I was having the same problems with Monique... She would refuse, hide, put them in the side of here mouth - drink the water then spit them out later - all very similar... She was certain I was trying to poison her - do away with her....

I sort of get the feeling that 'they' know' when we are anxious or intent on something and that makes them uneasy - scared even. One thing I have been asking myself recently - does it really matter? So for a few days she does not have the medications... what the hell? Is it worth the conflict - if she resists then give in at once rather than escalate the problem... With the problems she has a good relationship may be more important than a dose of ....whatever.

To be honest I did not practise exactly what I preached but I tried to be laid back about it and now Monique takes the pills (mainly) without argument or conflict.. It was just a 'stage' she was going through thinking I was trying to poison her via the medications... Now she only thinks that occasionally and takes the medicine...

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire


I am just at the first stage in all this, and here you are all telling me your difficulties. It makes me scared of what is to come, on the one hand, and so admirable of all you lot coping with the next stages. Believe me, guys and gals, I think you are all stars.

There seem to be so many tough situations and decisions to be made, and I am pretty sure from the people I have met and read about that you are all doing your absolute best. What fine people you all are. Well, you woulnd't be on this website if you weren't.

Bless you all



Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
Deborah Blythe said:
I even remind her of the days when she had a gang of tough little girl friends who called themselves The Spartans, and say that her Spartan friends would laugh if they saw her refusing such a weeny weeny pill. But of course it's no use. .
Well, once a Spartan, always a Spartan! She was tough then, she is tough now!! :)
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