Due to aggressive behavior and anger, it can be a challenging task to feed loved ones with dementia their medication. While we understand that you might get irritated or overwhelmed in such cases, it’s important to sympathize with loved ones as they might be confused or afraid while taking their medication. As such, do be patient and take your time without rushing your loved ones. Since patients with dementia cannot be as independent as when they were younger, it’s understandable that they feel angry over the loss of freedom in their lives. To make this process of getting your loved ones to take their medication less pressurizing, here are some tips and tricks.
Make Sure Loved Ones Are in a Calm Environment
When your loved ones are in a surrounding that’s stressful and rowdy, it should come as no surprise that they will get agitated easily. As such, during periods when your loved ones are required to take their medication, place them in a quiet and comfortable environment in order to put them at ease. You can create such an environment by playing soft and soothing music, decluttering any mess, and adding objects like blankets and pillows. Considering that we’re able to sense the feelings of those around us, make sure that you’re not feeling stressed and angry. If you’re having negative feelings, it’s very likely loved ones will mirror those expressions as well.
Make Medication Easier to Consume
Some medication comes in pills that are large and difficult to swallow, which can be unappealing and further repulse your loved ones from taking them. To encourage your loved ones, you can consider making the medication a little easier to consume. You can do so either by opting for a liquid formula or crushing them into powder form and incorporating them into their foods. However, before doing so, it’s extremely crucial to consult a medical professional or pharmacist. This is because some medication will be ineffective once crushed or even pose a danger to your loved ones’ health.
Eliminate Distractions or Things that Trigger Discomfort
Some loved ones with dementia will immediately feel uncomfortable and distressed upon seeing many medication bottles. If your loved ones are experiencing this, the obvious solution is to take away the bottles and keep them out of their sight. You can then give them the medication one by one. Another way to encourage your loved ones to take their medication is to reduce any distractions. Common triggers include bright lights, being surrounded by unfamiliar people, and strong scents. Therefore, make sure your loved ones are not exposed to these distractions.
Pretend to Take the Medication with Them
It will be much more motivating for your loved ones if you take the medication along with them as well. Of course, since you aren’t able to consume the medication, you can replace them with harmless foods like candy and pretend it is the medication. This method allows you to become a buddy who your loved ones can trust and feel relaxed with.