How To Get Your Loved Ones To Take Their Medication

Woman Refusing to take medication

Medication refusal

Medication refusal increase with age, our parents become more and more prone to illnesses and diseases. As a result, medications become almost an inevitable part of their daily routine. Taking medications regularly becomes extremely necessary to manage the various disease conditions. However, situations take a nasty turn. As our parents refuse to take their medications.

Caregiver challenges of administering medication

The process of caregiving is not an easy one. Caregivers have to face many challenges to make their loved ones comfortable. Things seem to go out of control. When their loved ones simply refuse to take their medications or rearrange the pillbox. Failure to take medications by our elderly loved one can pose serious problems. This can cause major side effects. Some include dizziness, confusion or even falls. Which in turn can call for emergency situations.  This can create a major problem.

Reasons for not taking medications

Medication refusal is a major issue. It presents a serious side effect for our elderly seniors. We see this process in those elderly who suffer from mental conditions. Some of these conditions are bipolar disorder, dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Why our loved ones are uncooperative.

  • The medications that they are taking do not bring any positive effect.

This is often the common complaint by our seniors for not taking medications. This reason is understandable as we all have been through this at least once in our lifetime. Furthermore, not taking their medications will not make your seniors feel better. But make matters all the more difficult for you. Therefore, finding out a solution by discussing with your doctor. Who will suggest a change in medication will be a good idea.
  • Medications works, but the side effects are too difficult to tolerate.

Intolerable side effects are not welcome. And can make your loved ones experience hell at times. However, all said and done, not taking medications is certainly not a good idea. And as a caregiver, you need to tell their doctor about the various side effects your senior loved ones are facing. In many cases, the doctors simply do not seem to bother much about the side effects. You may get a feeling that your complaining is falling on deaf ears. In such cases, you need to tell the doctor that the side effects are no longer tolerable. And is making matters really difficult for your loved one. Change of medications or treatment to decrease the side effects are a must
  • Our seniors do not find it necessary to continue with the medication.

They think their condition is gone. This is perhaps one of the most difficult situations to deal with. Your loved one consider the medications as encumbrance once they seem to get better. They almost seem to forget that it is the medication that has made them better. However, in such cases, logical reasoning may fail. And caregivers may have to try and find out ways of dealing with the situation in a different manner.

  • Finding the actual reason behind medication the refusal
This will help design proper strategies to get seniors take their medicines on time.

Tips to get your seniors take their medications – Do’s and don’ts

Getting your seniors to take their medications is certainly not an easy task. And requires much perseverance and patience on the part of the caregiver. Nevertheless, we need to understand that. The reasoning put forth by our seniors for medication noncompliance cannot be disappointing. Their reasonings have some concrete ground and we need to respect it. Here are some tips to help you better understand your loved one and also get them to take their medications:
  • Prepare a medication list.

Create a proper medication list that should include not only their prescribed drugs. But also the over the counter medications that they take. Once the list is ready, you can talk to your doctor about the same. Both of you can work together to reduce the number of medications. This can in some way help you to convince your elderly loved one to take their medications.
  • Talk to your loved one.

This is probably one of the hardest tasks for the caregivers. Trying to get into logical reasoning with your elderly loved one will not work in this case. Instead, you should try to ask your seniors the reasons behind their refusal.
  • Review their medications.

It is necessary that you review their medications from time to time. Not all the reasons given by your elderly loved one for not taking medications are false. They may be right in some cases, and you need to value their judgments. By reviewing their medications regularly, you can try and reduce the medications load. In any case, this will help you convince your senior to take their medications.


All the above-mentioned tips should go a long way. And ensure that your seniors take all their medications willingly and not stay away from it.  If all else fails, you can contact your pharmacy and talk to the pharmacist to see if the medication can be given in other forms.  Growing old is no fun, but with support, it can get easier.  For more information, check out this article.
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Woman refusing to take her medication

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