4 Reasons Older Adults Refuse to Take Their Medication

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When it is time for your elderly loved one to take his or her prescribed medication, there are a few challenges you or other family caregivers may face. Palm Beach 24-hour care experts discuss 4 of the top reasons seniors refuse their medication and offer tips on how to get them to take it.

1. Bad Taste 

If your loved one dislikes how the medicine tastes, find out if the medication can be taken with food or beverages. If so, mash the pills up with food or pour the liquid medication into a small amount of juice or milk. This may help mask the bad taste long enough for your loved one to take the medication. If the medication cannot be taken with food, your loved one could place the pill on the back of his or her tongue and swallow it down with a large glass of water. 

2. Negative Side Effects 

Some medications could cause your loved one to feel drowsy or have a stomachache. If this is the case, consult with a physician to see if there are alternative medications your loved one can take. The doctor may also have some tips on alleviating the side effects and possibly preventing similar issues going forward. 

3. Denial About Their Medical Condition

If your loved one has been diagnosed with a disease, he or she may be in denial and refuse to take any medications to treat the condition because he or she thinks it is a waste of time. Speak with your loved one and explain the medication was prescribed to make him or her feel better and eliminate the disease or slow its progression. You can also have a doctor or therapist speak with your loved one and explain the seriousness of taking the medications, as well as the many benefits the pills could have when taken correctly.


As your loved one ages, he or she may experience memory loss. As a result, your loved one may lose track of his or her medications, which is dangerous for his or her health. Here are some of the ways you can help your loved one remember to take his or her medications:
  • Purchase medication management devices 
  • Ask the doctor to consolidate the medications 
  • Use pill organizers 
  • Set alarm reminders on smartphones and tablets that go off when it is time to take the medications
  • Hire a Palm Beach, FL, home caregiver to provide reminders
In addition to timely medication reminders, the caregivers at Home Care Assistance can provide a wide array of services to enhance your loved one’s quality of life. From mental stimulation to assistance with exercise, you can trust in our professional caregivers to help your loved one remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. For more information on the home care Palm Beach families trust and rely on, call one of our qualified Care Managers today at (561) 429-8292.


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