Three Probable Reasons Your Aging Parents Aren’t Taking Meds

Nurse with senior patient prescribing medicine

Nurse with senior patient prescribing medicine

It’s not just the occasional slips in memory that your parents aren’t taking their medicines on the pillbox. There could be a lot of underlying problems to this, that if left unaddressed, could put your loved ones in bad health. Look at these following culprits behind their non adherence to medications.

Denial About Their Condition

It’s never easy to accept that you’re in some serious health problem. Older adults tend to deny their condition because they don’t want to be a burden to their family or to feel worthless or useless. Without acknowledgment of the problem though, your loved ones would refuse any help—not just in terms of taking medications but also in you offering to drive them to the hospital or you suggesting that they move to one of the nursing homes in Worcester, MA.

The first step in dealing with this is to bring them into a full understanding of their disease. Let a doctor or therapist explain their condition. An expert will have more credibility in doing this. From there, give them the opportunity to how they would want to respond to their health problem.

Seniors tend to change their position about something when the change is initiated by themselves. So, just facilitate their thinking. Reassure them in the process. Let them know that they’re not a burden. Hopefully, that would get them on track on their meds, and even consider moving to assisted living.

Negative Side Effects

Unfortunately, most of the meds that relieve symptoms of major health problems come with negative side effects, like stomachache or drowsiness. This could create an aversion to the meds, especially when the elderly don’t see the immediate benefits on their health. Your parents might see the meds as more damaging than useful.

Some seniors, especially those who have dementia, would go as far as being suspicious of people poisoning them. If this is the case with your loved ones, ask their physician how you could prevent the side effects. Doctors often suggest alternative medications, a different dosage, or a change in eating habits. Observe your loved ones’ behavior after taking the meds. Listen to complaints of aches and pains, and take note of them for your next doctor’s visit.

Poor Taste of Medicines

Doctor giving senior patient medicine

No one likes to bad-tasting medicines. It’s a more serious case though for seniors since they’re experiencing changes in their taste buds as they age. A good approach to this issue is to mix the meds with the food to conceal the bad taste. Take note though that this only applies to certain drugs. Some medications can’t be taken on an empty stomach or crushed and blended with food.

In case the meds can’t be concealed in food or drinks, try going to compounding pharmacies to get the flavor and dosage form your loved ones will be comfortable taking. Let them decide on their meds (of course, with the doctor’s approval) so that your parents would have greater ownership on this good health habit. This may even encourage them to take more proactive steps towards better well-being, which is a plus.

The reason your loved ones isn’t taking their meds isn’t just the cognitive decline. It may well be due to these mentioned factors. Don’t overlook these problems. Check on your parents and address the issues immediately.