Remembering which meds to take, the right dosage, and at what times of the day can be difficult for anyone - and a daunting or impossible task for a person with dementia. Without a medication system in place, things can go desperately wrong for a person with declining memory and organizations skills. For example, he or she may take a medication, and then not know whether they've actually taken it. Pill bottle tops, difficult to remove, may be simply left off, allowing the bottles to spill. A person may sometimes take a medicine relying solely on the pill's color, leading to confusion with similar pills. And they may forget - is it one or two of the pink or blue pills? In addition, pills may be hidden under clutter.
We all know how a person's health can suffer if they forget a medication, take the wrong one, or take too many. That's why it's essential that the person you care for gets assistance in managing their meds.
The type of assistance needed depends on his/her stage of the disease, the complexity of their medication regimen, and whether or not they live alone. For example, in the early stages, he or she may be able to take medications independently, if you
sort and organize their pills in a 7-day pillbox. But in the late stages, you'll need to administer all medications
and keep them in a safe place to reduce the risk of an overdose.
For more information on medication safety from the Alzheimer's Association, click here.