Mum not taking medication

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by middlemiss, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. middlemiss

    middlemiss Registered User

    Apr 27, 2014
    Hi all,
    Mum is now in an assessment unit at the hospital since being discharged from hospital (fractured neck). We found out today at the DST that she's had no medication for 3 weeks because she refuses it!!! No plans for addressing the issue either, I was fuming! The anti-depressant she was on is out of her system - Memantine too, no thryroxine either, basically mum has been going through cold turkey for the past 3 weeks all through Christmas (pardon the pun). Doctor now signed best interest form for covert medication, mental health nurse to see if she can go back on anti-depressant and Memantine. Luckily the CHC nurse suggested going back over the DST form again next week once her mental health has stabilised. I wouldn't agree to sign it until every effort has been made to get mum to take her medication anyway.
    I'm fuming, mum has had an awful time, so disoriented and confused, constantly crying to go home. Has anyone else experienced this problem with medication?
  2. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    morning middlemiss
    I haven't had this problem myself - however, I really don't understand why this wasn't mentioned to you before - you say the pills weren't taken because she refused, NOT because they were stopped deliberately as part of the assessment (which again should have been discussed) - surely the staff should have realised from what the meds are, that your mum was likely, if asked, to refuse and used more thoughtful ways to get her to take them
    I think it would be worth raising this with the hospital as they need to review their procedures, at the very least
    your poor mum didn't need this on top of everything else
  3. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    My William, more often than not, refused his medication as his illness progressed. But he couldn't do without it, so it was given covertly, at home first. In the nursing home, mostly, he was good about taking it. But if he didn't, he got it hidden in icecream. Common sense and the welfare of the person has to take precedence, in my mind.
  4. Risa

    Risa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    My Mum was on Memantine (10mg a day) but it wasn't having any affect on her behaviour. I checked with her psychiatrist and she said it was ok to take Mum off of it straight away without reducing the dosage as there would be no ill effects. However I don't know if this would be the case for someone who was responding well to Memantine :confused:
  5. keegan2

    keegan2 Registered User

    Jan 11, 2015
    Been having to do this with o/h. Trial and error other day I put meds in a muffin 3 tablets mixed with smarties well other half ate every thing apart from the tablets. So I crushed them and put in a tropical juice drink and gave it to him, drank it all. Later put his mirtzapine in the drink and he refused to drink it (that solution wasted) I put tablet in rolo yoghurt and he ate it........I am on a mission now and will not be beaten, you have to go with the flo. Just make sure you have alternative methods and plenty of medication stocked up.
  6. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
  7. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    Indeed. William's meds were already in a form that would dissolve instantly on his tongue if he could be got to put them in his mouth! And actually, usually, he enjoyed taking the Risperidone in that form. I think they must have fizzed a little, because every time, he'd give a little smile to himself and say quietly "fwishh" - and do a sort of magician's "abracadabra " gesture with his hands! :-D
  8. doodle1

    doodle1 Registered User

    May 11, 2012
    I wouldn't be very happy. Why no thyroxine? Lack of it can mimic dementia anyway. Why so long without something being done? My mum for whom the phrase was truly coined ' why be difficult when with a tiny effort you can be really impossible?' also used to refuse her meds saying she had taken them etc.
    insist on seeing a doctor next time you visit - if there isn't one,ask when they come on duty and make a fuss. Even a gp can agree to give permission for meds to be given covertly if it is deemed in the persons best interests. Use the phrase vulnerable adult and best interests and stomp up and down.
    If your mum refuses her meds from a nurse they can try all sorts of cajoling such as ' I will lose my job / get into trouble if you don't take them' .
    Sadly and I really feel for you I think they are making no effort with her. I had this when mum was in hospital with a broken hip ,she wasn't eating so put meal replacement drinks on her tray and didn't realise she had no idea how to open them.
  9. middlemiss

    middlemiss Registered User

    Apr 27, 2014
    Thank you for your replies, you are truly wonderful, supportive people! Last night the doctor on the unit wrote up for mum to have covert medication. Mental health took her off Memantine today as its out of her system and not really working over the past few months, and stopped the anti-depressants as they too are out of her system and they don't feel she's depressed! She can go back on these later if needed. So she's only having Thryroxine, crushed in a drink once per day - we'll see how it goes. She might as well be at home - at least the carers won't find medication too difficult!
    The issue has been reported to adult Safeguarding, clearly mums medical needs have been neglected. As a social worker with older people I know I would report it if it happened in a care home to a person who used services on their or their families behalf. A complaint has also gone in to the Unit manager.
    Thank you again everyone, when it's your own's so much harder to see the wood for the trees no matter what training or experience you've got.

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