There are many reasons the person with Alzheimer’s disease may become resistant when attempting to administer medications. These tips will help to alleviate many of those reasons and improve the opportunities for a successful outcome.
- Try to remove distractions prior to administering medications by turning off the television, decreasing background noise, etc.
- Prepare all needed items in advance, having all the medications you plan to administer pulled and ready in a small medicine cup. Have a cup of water poured as well, ensuring an adequate supply.
- Use auditory, tactile and visual cueing prior to attempting to administer the medications to help get the message through. “It is time too take your medications” should be followed by showing the medications in the cup and placing the water in their hands. If they do not readily begin participating, you should then explain you are going to place the pill in their mouth and then give them water to swallow.
For most this 1,2,3 approach will be enough to achieve success. In some cases, you may find it necessary to obtain permission from the doctor to crush the medications and place them in a favorite food such as apple sauce or ice cream. Your pharmacist will need to review the medications with you if this is the case as certain medications should not be crushed. For these medications, there may be a more desirable liquid form that will be more successful.
After administering medications, always check to make sure they have swallowed the medications as there may be a tendency to hold the pills in their mouth.
You may also find success in making pill time a game. Remember that one of the last skill sets we loose is the ability to “mimic”. Therefore, you can make taking the pills an interactive game where you have yours (use M&Ms or skittles candy) and they take theirs at the same time. This can be a lot of fun, especially when their cup ends with one of your yummy M&Ms!