1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Getting the medication in.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Mjaqmac, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    On another thread with Jude I was saying that mum, just back from respite, has been not wanting to take her medication. She has been fine with me in the house, even since she came home and I haven't had to deal with it yet (this may have just been an occurance in respite!) but in case it might be a problem, has anyone any good methods of slipping the meds in without much hassle? Jude had a good idea of crushing them and putting them in jam or honey, but mum doesn't like either. She loves custard but I wonder would I kill the meds putting them into a spoonful of that?
    Any ideas anyone please?
    Any medical people out there with a brainwave idea we haven't thought of?

    Thanks, Magic.
     
  2. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Magic,

    I can't see why custard won't work. Anything that helps it slide down will do surely?

    Jude
     
  3. carol

    carol Registered User

    Jun 24, 2004
    196
    Surrey/Hampshire
    Personally, when I have any pills to take myself I always take them with milk, not water or juice, milk seems to help them slide down easier, try it!!

    Carol
     
  4. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    Will do Carole. She likes those Actimel drinks so maybe with that it may be easier than water. She's back to her usual self at the moment. But you never know what the next minute's going to bring!
     
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi Magic, when mum refused her pills I requested them changed to liquid form. Obviously I don't know your mum's medications, but an awful lot are available that way. If you can't do them all, at least it may help the problem with so many to take. Love, She. XX
     
  6. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    785
    Buckinghamshire
    Milk has worked for us - not so much because it's easier to swallow them, but because I can focus on the milk instead of the tablet: milk tastes lovely and is good for you! - Not even a 'white lie'.....
     
  7. Suzy R

    Suzy R Registered User

    Jul 4, 2004
    40
    Switzerland
    Milk

    Don't take milk with antibiotics, it can reduce their effectiveness enormously.....
     
  8. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Magic

    In the care home the regimen is so dependent upon time constraints that residents are lined up across the room and a marksman employed to shoot the various medications on the order 'Mouths open Now!'. Following which a multicoloured volley of knockmeouts are projected through the air. Very much a catch as catch can affair. That is what that cannon by the main entrance is used for, didn't you know? Every nursing home has one! There is no time for cajoling, it's just shovel it in regardless of whether you choke or not - there are fags to be smoked and tea to be drunk by the staff, dont ya know.

    You have probably developed a routine when giving your mum her medication which involves patience and a respect for her taking the pills at her own pace. It is true that difficulty in swallowing the pills, or food for that matter, is one of the effects of AD. The antibiotics don't help either and seem to dull the appetite so with a bit of luck and your job-like efforts, custard, jelly, trifle she should recover. If Mum is going into respite be prepared for chest infections ad infinitum. It's rather like when a child starts school and develops a permanent cold - it just goes around in a vicious circle. I've currently got Mum's recent chest infection and as she is recovering am terrified of going to see her in case it starts over again. But am even more terrified of leaving a visit over.

    Happy shooting
    Chesca
     
  9. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    Hiya Chesca

    Nice to see you back!

    Mum has turned into a monster since coming home from respite. The aggression is unbelievable and the tablet taking which was never a problem until respite, is a nightmare! Something has happened in that place, I just know it! She has no problems swallowing as yet, at least she didn't when she swallowed my fist after dinner when my temper finally blew! (Only joking, but don't think I didn't feel like it, sainted carer and all that I am).
    I think another chest infection might be brewing, this has been constant since last October.
    She has whistled constantly all night, it's like watching tv with Roger Whittacker. All this behaviour is so unlike her, it's either an infection or
    this bloody disease is progressing. I can cope with all the physical stuff, no matter how bad, but I can't stand the bad temper and aggression. I am so not used to it and having to tend to her needs all day and be abused into the bargain is unbearable. I can't even put her in daycare like this, no one would have her. I think it might be medication time, but how do you get something that doesn't knock her down completely?
    It almost wasn't worth the respite break.
     
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi Magic, I can picture the scene straight away having often walked that walk! It used to happen with my Mum when she was building up to something. (I kept a record and it showed up after a few times.) Think you need to get on to your GP or Specialist and check things out really. I expect you have already thought of the possibillity of constipation or a UTI? What does she whistle, "When the saints come marching in" ? It's exhausting when they just go on and on, you are so right, it's worse than the physical stuff by far I think. All you can do with any new medication as you know, is see how she goes and up or lower the dose to suit really. Do hope things start to improve for you soon. Love, She. XX
     
  11. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Magic
    sorry things have deteriorated.

    Generally I have found that, while there are definite downward drops with Jan's vascular dementia, they are not generally huge in terms of the way she behaves

    unless

    she has a urinary infection

    or

    she is having an adverse reaction to medication

    I guess any form of infection may cause the person to behave erratically as they can't simply tell you what is wrong. They don't understand so they create a fuss in ways that they know will gain attention. Aggression is clearly one way; not taking medication is another.

    If you think about it, what other things can they do, given a reduction in their ability to communicate in a way we consider normal.

    I think it would be sensible to have her examined and assessed as quite simple adjustments to her regime might make a lot of difference.

    Keep faith! Explore all the paths before you come to a decision on what is the matter. As with all things, it won't be easy, but don't just assume things have become worse permanently.

    When Jan has been impossibly difficult or hurtful, my last resort has always been to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and imagine myself in her position: sightless, knowing I am unable to speak in a way that people will understand [yet I can understand them!], unable to control my body, unable to...well, do anything. Strangers deal with the most intimate things. I am fed food and I don't know what it is. I could murder a cup of tea but I can't tell anyone. Yet I am HERE! I WANT TO BE UNDERSTOOD!

    When I get to that stage of seeing things from her side, I can understand any sort of behaviour. I'm also glad there are no cliffs nearby, because I'd surely jump.

    Best wishes
     
  12. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    #12 Mjaqmac, Sep 29, 2004
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2004
    Thank you guys for all the advice and support, sure where else would you get it?

    Brucie your words (as usual) are so right and hit a cord. Wish I could make sense of things the way you can. Sometimes I just feel like I want to run away and hide and cry my eyes out, but there's no one else to fight for her, or do everything for her. The CPN has disappeared up her own rather ample backside. Probably best place for her anyway!
    It definitely looks like something is working on mum. Today has been a toughy, as I'm sure it's been for the rest of the carers here. I am always just so afraid that this is it, this is the final frontier. I swore a million times today she's going into a home, then tonight she went all saintly when I was putting her to bed and said, "My wee girl, I love you."
    It would break the heart of ye!
    That woman has more spin that Tony Blair!
    Sometimes I look back to just the year before last when we were a reasonably "normal" family. More the Addams variety than the Osbournes, and I wish with all my heart we could have just one of those normal days, when I was bored off my skull and dreaming of cellulite free thighs and was happy watching the latest Stargate installment. (I've never been a party animal!)
    I didn't know we were living then. If only I had known what lay ahead! Maybe I should appreciate even this stage.
    Thanks again guys, couldn't do without you (and Sheila, requested any liquid forms of the medications today, waiting to hear from GP, thanks. By the way her whistling is more of the Percy Thrower variety, bird impressions, I think we had the lesser spotted tit tonight or maybe she was refering to the CPN again!) Am off now for a wee saucer of milk.
     
  13. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Magic

    The emotional stuff is the pits. You do your best with buckets of love only to feel like your efforts are for nothing. That's why we're special - we keep going back for more!

    You've probably heard this over and over but here's another over: it's not your Mum, it's the illness. You can't reason with the unreasonable, a lesson it took me a long time to learn. One of the memories that hurts is when she insisted that a pseudo cheque for £20,000 made out to her (one of those awful junk mail ruses that catalogue companies mailshot all and sundry with) was in fact the real thing. No amount of persuasion from me, dad, a lovely teller at the bank who understood mum's condition, could convince her otherwise. In desperation I tore it up in front of her and asked her if she really believed I would do such a thing when we could have snuck off for a ball on the QEII. She tried to hit me! and would have succeeded if I hadn't seen it coming (a dodge I learned from once being a spousal punch bag). It still brings a tear to the eye when I think about it...little things...

    With hindsight, I should have humoured her, yet again - easier said than done when you're in the thick of it, wood, trees and all that. You have wonderful wit and never more will you need it than at these times - use it when you can if only to laugh at yourself. Mum and I often agree what a swine is Chesca, she who never comes near and wouldn't do you a favour if she could avoid it!! Or at least the last time she was able to verbalise with some coherence that was the opinion of the moment.

    Just, please, please don't kid yourself that respite is not worth it. Without it you may not have had the psychological strength to handle all the mayhem. A little disturbed routine is the cost. Be patient with the pills and when she doesn't want to take them NOW go back to it in a couple of mins and she may be more receptive - a little emotional blackmail helps, viz: 'remember when I was small and you used to want me to get better and you are so precious to me that I want you around to carry on looking after me' - sometimes it worked for me.

    Lots of love and keep pushing the drugs
    Chesca
     
  14. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hey Magic - you're a Stargate fan?

    The first six months that Jan was in the home it was Stargate that kept me going. It broke the bank but I bought the first five series on DVD and watched them end-to-end.

    I couldn't help thinking, however, what are O'Neill and team concerned about? The Goa'uld would hold no fears for anyone who has cared for a person with Alzheimer's - at least there's a chance of beating Apothis and company!
     
  15. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    #15 Mjaqmac, Sep 30, 2004
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2004
    Thanks Chesca, you've been through it. Funnily enough when mum was in respite I was so patient with her because I knew I could walk away! It's that additional feeling of being trapped in a life you never wanted that makes the temper boil, but then, mum didn't ask for this either.

    Brucie, I love Stargate, fancy O'Neill like mad, just love anything that's escapism. Would jump through that stargate in a minute.
    By the way there's a new series starting called "Stargate Atlantis" all the same cast, Sky One sometime soon. I sound like a trailer!

    It's nice to have everyone back again. Here goes another day of mayhem and birdsong. She doesn't know yet the district nurse is coming to do a blood test (cue "she's behind you" music) that should be fun! I'll keep an eye out for the old flashing eyes syndrome Brucie, just in case the nurse turns out to be Apophis in disguise. Wouldn't fancy one of those simbeo things in my tum though, bit like having a take out from our local Chinese!
     
  16. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    #16 Jude, Sep 30, 2004
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2004
    Abuse - 5 cents!

    Dear Magic, et al...

    Cor - all that hard work and abuse on top..! It really is disheartening isn't it? [small understatement, there] I feel I had a miraculous escape from a dose of the same yesterday - I got lucky for once.

    My mother tends to get weepy when there's something wrong. She has always been a mild person and thankfully hasn't changed [yet?] since being diagnosed with AD. A good kiss and cuddle tend to dry up the tears. I wonder if you could try that approach Magic when your Mum is angry. Would it work? Or would a close encounter set you up for a black eye?

    It's not an approach I would try with my father though. He's always been pretty caustic when cross and these days it's better to walk away. He gets downright spiteful now and some of the things he says about me are excruitatingly painful to hear - not to say outright lies. I get the same as Chesca does. According to my father I must be on the endangered species list, since I have been sighted in my natural habitat for decades. The awful thing is that some of the accusations flung at me are vaguely based in truth - especially the old chestnut about 'evicting them from their home' and 'selling it from underneath them'. It makes me feel irrationally guilty. [After all, it was MY family home too and had there been another way, then I would have found it.]

    Thank you Stephen Ladyman....... Perhaps I should get my father to send him a letter instead!

    Soldier on, Magic. Better days are coming. [They're called Saturday and Sunday]. Oops, sorry - those are a thing of the past now. Everyday is carer's day in Dementia World.

    Jude xxx

    PS: I feel extremely culturally deprived as I have no knowledge of this 'Stargate' stuff. I think I've missed out big time here. Is this series available on video? Now that we've got the new lounge suite I need to rectify the vast crater in my education.
     
  17. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    yes, Stargate is available on video but I recommend against getting addicted. Too darned expensive and anyway, O'Neill has already been grabbed, and while Teal'c is a good chap, he has a Goa'uld symbiote in his belly.

    If you want a flavour then rent the original Stargate film on video, though the cast is different. The blessed Capt. Carter came with the TV series.
     
  18. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Brucie,

    This sounds like seriously dangerous stuff...! Just what I need.

    Jude
     
  19. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    Dear Jude
    They are showing the last series of Stargate on Channel 4 on Sunday around 4.35pm. I will have to video it and watch it in bed when mum goes to sleep as she hates it, and as we know the dementia boss always rules in a house.
    Jude, mum is so sweet and loving by nature that I'm not sure how to handle the outbursts. A cuddle always goes a long way with her. She realised she had done something not nice yesterday and was immediately sorry, she apologised even though she didn't know what for and said she wouldn't hurt me for the world.
    Took 4 of her tablets for me this morning but refused to take the rest. Home help told me to get a pill crusher and put the crushed pills into one spoonful of yogurt to make sure she doesn't leave any. She said that it's nearly always the case when people come out of respite that they won't settle for a while. But mum was ok coming out of hospital the past 4 times this year.
    She had dad and I up all night, there's definitley something brewing, waiting on physio and nurse and absolutely knackered. She's sleeping, lucky her!
    Jude, I think you will fancy O'Neill in Stargate, he's very nifty for a man of fifty!

    Off again to check on Percy.

    Magic.
     
  20. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Magic,

    Keep up the hugs and kisses then. Good luck!

    I will have a look at Stargate on Sunday if I have a chance. My idea of 'male divine' is the bloke who plays Strider in Lord of the Rings. Also, John Belusi for some mad reason. Those eyes...!

    I'm off for some smelling salts.....

    Jude xx
     

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