Today’s insight discusses medications. Swallowing pills can be difficult for loved ones with dementia. Tips to be successful.

Transcription of Video:

Hi, I’m Deb Nygaard with Arthur’s Residential Care presenting today’s Insights from Arthur’s.

Pills can be a very difficult thing. In the beginning, when your loved one is still at home and they are not remembering to take their medications correctly, maybe they are duplicating or taking them three or four times a day because every time they wake up they think it is morning. You can find devices for the home that will regulate when the pills are released, so they are not even available to take them at the incorrect times.

I want to talk today about the end stages of the disease when simply taking pills is difficult. Sometimes you will see that when there is a thin liquid and a solid together, it’s confusing and they don’t know how to manage both. At times even soups are difficult, unless it’s all creamy and blended together. If you give somebody a set of pills to take and then you give them water, they might pocket the pill on the side of their cheek. They think that you obviously want them to drink the water, yet they don’t get the connection between the pills and the water. There is confusion between the two things as to how they relate.

Here is a great trick that I learned from Teepa Snow: use jam. Place the pills on a piece of toast with jam.  A lot of times with dementia your brain is craving things that are sweet…and also salty.   But hide those pills in the jam. You are expecting jam to have some solid texture, it’s not a thin liquid. The toast is also a solid texture. If they are going to chew the pills you might not want it on toast, but maybe a spoonful of jam may work. You could also try foods like yogurt, applesauce or pudding.

I hope some of these tips work for you.

I’m Deb Nygaard with Arthur’s Residential Care.

Contact Deb Nygaard
Director of Development
Arthur’s Residential Care: 651-429-4798