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Mom refusing to take her meds


Eve G.

This is the second time this has happened . . . Mom (in assisted living with vascular dementia) digs her heels in and refuses to take her morning meds, some of which are important (prednisone, blood pressure, heart). The nurses can't take my say-so to "just skip them for today" without orders from all of her doctors. The more I try (over the phone) to reason and cajole her, the more upset she gets.

This has only happened twice, but as she goes downhill, I guess it will happen more. This can't be an unusual situation: what do assisted-living places do when people refuse their pills? I'd hate to see her hospitalized just to get meds into her.

Today I suggested, "just let her go out for a walk, take a nap, and one hopes in a few hours she'll get over her 'spell,' forget all about it and take the damn pills."

Oy. I need some pastry. I'm off to the local bakery to throw myself face-forward into an eclair.


Registered User
May 24, 2006
Your Mother has a perfect right to refuse to take her pills

Maybe she is well aware that by not taking them she will be eased out of a situation she is unhappy with


Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
hello eve G

my mum is in a emi hospital and she has also refused her meds for them, we had her home last monday for a few days and she played up for my dad something terrible yet other times she takes them quite willingly
im not that sure whether they will force her to take them in hospital or just how long they will let them go without taking medication
interesting point though does anybody know the procedure about force feeding meds?
ive also thought the same as helena that perhaps in someway my mum is trying to take things into her own hands by not taking her meds after all in some ways its the only thing they have left that they have any control over

good luck hope you enjoyed the eclair i find a bar of galaxy nut does it for me
take care xx


Registered User
May 24, 2006
My Mum fell at home on Weds and was not found till Saturday by which time she was barely breathing and had pneumonia

She took a turn for the worse today but then brightened a bit but is very depressed and is refusing all food and drink and treatment

She is muddled and incoherent and her hearing has gone but it seems she still knows exactly what she does not want

She has been in total denial for ages that anything was wrong , refused to see the Doctor and especially denied that she had Dementia claiming it was us and everyone else who was "mad"

I am now pretty darn sure the first mini stroke was 5 yrs ago when she smashed her car into a brick wall ........if only the hospital had done a CT scan then and told her the truth her life and ours could have been so much easier

Instead she has created the most appalling mess and muddle and problems that I have been struggling to sort out with her EPA since July

Jodie Lucas

Registered User
Dec 3, 2005

Hello Eve,

Have you tried to get her meds in liquid form? This has helped with some of our clients who have difficulty swallowing tablets or refusing them.



Registered User
Sep 10, 2005
Hi Eve G

I'm with you on the bakery run!!

When my mum didn't want to take her meds, I had to blag it a bit. After a while, she came round, but it did take some cajoling. I've never been known for having much patience (according to my mum), but I'm certainly learning now (thanks to her!) :)

Eve G.

Well, she hasn't had a "spell" lately, but they are bound to get worse as her illness progresses. She was a little panicky when I talked to her tonight, and she highly resents her private-duty nurse, who is a bit bossy (as a good nurse should be).

No more bakery for me, though, not with my winter clothes to squeeze into!


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Eve, as you're in the US you have rather more liquid medication options than in the UK. Specifically the flavorings that are sold to flavor meds for children are more than palatable, and they come in something like 30 flavors. I guess, though, it's not so much the tablets per se, more the control issue.

(who knows how you feel about the winter clothes - here in Western PA I was wandering around in a t-shirt on Friday, but had to wear my thoroughly direputable fur coat when I took the dog out this morning)