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Alzheimer's & Dementia
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Late Stage
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- What Not to Do
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medication management
mid-late stage

In the later stages, if the person is resistant to taking their meds, spend a few minutes with them first, building rapport. You may need to encourage the person, even if you think they don't understand. For example, it may be helpful to say something like "Your doctor said it's very important to take this medication. Please take it." Or, "I need your help. Here, please take this pill." And, of course, you'll need to keep all medications in a secure place and administer them to the person.

If the person refuses to take their medications -

Ask his/her doctor if it's safe to mash up the medication into a food that the person enjoys (like apple sauce or pudding), but be sure the person eats all of the food. Before trying this intervention, be sure to check with the doctor for each medication individually to avoid making any unsafe assumptions.

If the person can't or doesn't swallow the pills -

Caregivers have told us of care receivers tucking away the pills in their cheeks, in their pockets, or under their pillows, and only finding the pills later on, thinking all along they had been swallowing them. So check regularly to see if he or she is actually swallowing the pills and encourage the person to do so if needed. The promise of a dessert or a favorite activity afterwards can sometimes help.


Medication Safety

Alzheimier's Association

Personal Medication Record

University of Florida

24-Hour Helpline

Information, referral, support

Alzheimer's Association

Online Care Calendar

Lotsa Helping Hands

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