Encouraging independence in my parents with dementia

pill caddyAs if someone from the Alzheimer’s Reading Room saw my recent post, I was curious about an article that was just posted entitled: How can a Dementia Caregiver Encourage Independence and Promote Self-Care? It listed ten ways to help someone with dementia help themselves.

The one item not addressed was medication. My parents seem unwilling to use a pill caddy. My dad seemed to like the idea, but within a week had converted to a “shoebox of pills” system that could not be explained. He just stop taking any medication a few months ago. He welcomes the help to set up his pill caddy, but will not take the pills. When you ask him, he just says he is too lazy. I suspect it’s a mixture of frustration in knowing what day it is and how to use the pill caddy along with a general apathy that has settled over his being.

My mom won’t accept that medication has been prescribed for her.

Tomorrow we see a geriatrician. My hope is that they can give me some perspective on what’s prescribed and how it aligns to individuals with moderate dementia. I have a questions I am bringing with me:

  • What are the risks/benefits of taking/not-taking the medications prescribed?
  • Could their resistance to take medication be their own personal response to managing their end-of-life?
  • What might he recommend to encourage the medication gets taken?


If you have any strategies that have worked for you — please share!

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