Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Medications And Dementia

The CDC and estimated 177,000 older adults visit the emergency room due to medication problems.  As we move through this journey of dementia with my father, I can see just how easy it is for seniors to become overwhelmed, confused, or over-medicated. 
Each day is a struggle to allow my father to maintain some independence and for me to ensure he is safe and compliant with his medication. This Demon of Dementia has led my father to have poor judgement and poor reasoning. 
For us the following steps have seemed to make the situation more manageable.
1. Dad and I fill his medication container together.  This doesn't always work because he still thinks he can manage his medications independently - so I check them box daily for additions and subtractions.  
2.  Every morning when we set up breakfast we have him bring his medications to the table.
This is a gentle reminder and gives us an opportunity to watch him take his medications (making sure he is swallowing without difficulty and that he is still able to handle the pills without them falling on the floor).

3. Prompting him at bedtime, he always says goodnight, to take his medications.  This is the area we often struggle with - he often gets side-tracked between the den and his room. So this area we will continue to work on. 
Tomorrow we are going to see a geriatric specialist - he was so upset when I tried to discuss his memory issues and seeking a diagnosis, that I have sort of told a little white lie.  He thinks we are going to see a geriatric specialist about some skin lesions and his neck issues.   I hate not being honest but, I need to know, where are we on this journey with dementia? Is there anything that we can do to slow this journey with the dementia demon? 

Some of you may be thinking, aren't you a nurse practitioner?? Why do you need to go to a specialist??? This is my father, I need to know that he is receiving the best care possible. When providing care for a family member you are not always objective...I need the objectivity. 

Stay tuned for more updates
~ Connie~ 

No comments:

Post a Comment