If your loved one refuses to take their medications on their own or with constant reminders from you, contact a home health care provider for help. Your loved one depends on the medications prescribed by their doctors to stay well, fight illness or manage their conditions. If they don't take the medications on time or at all, your loved one's health declines. In most cases, your loved one refuses to take their medications because the drugs hurt their throat, taste bitter on their tongue or appear strange and dangerous. Home health care nurses can use a variety of techniques to help your loved one take their medications, including these below.
Teach Your Loved One About Their Medications
Although the medications help your loved one feel better or manage their medical condition, your loved one may refuse to take anything they don't understand or can't pronounce easily, especially if they have cognitive problems like dementia. You may try to explain why your loved one needs the medications, but if you don't know how the drugs actually work or how to say the drugs' names, your loved one may not listen to you.
Home health care nurses can do several things to help your family member learn about the drugs they take each day. The nurses can sit down and explain how each medication works in easy-to-understand language, such as using the common names of the drugs. Many medications have long complex names that aren't easy to pronounce, which can create problems with people who have cognitive problems.
Home health care nurses can also make a large easy-to-see and read chart that lists the drugs' common names, images of the drugs and reasons for taking the drugs. In most cases, your family member takes their medications because they understand more about the drugs.
Make It Easier for Your Loved One to Swallow Medications
Some elderly individuals develop health complications that hinder or stop their ability to swallow anything with hard or solid textures. For instance, if your loved one experienced a stroke that affected the way their throat muscles contract during swallowing, they may avoid taking large pills that can potentially stick in their throats and choke them. A number of individuals also don't take their medicines because they taste bitter
Home health care nurses use different methods to help their elderly clients swallow medications easily. One method is pill crushing. The nurses use special equipment that break pills of any size down into tiny particles or powders. The nurses then mix the crushed medications with applesauce, pudding or some other soft-textured food. Because they don't taste or feel the medications they need to take, your loved one may take their medications without anymore issues.
Keep in mind that you should never crush or change your loved one's medications on your own to avoid accidentally lowering their dosages, strengths or purposes. In addition, you should never crush or change specific medications that can alter or change your loved one's health. The home health care nurses and their employers obtain permission from your loved one's physician before they make any changes to your loved one's medications.
If you need assistance with your loved one, contact a home health care provider today.