As an Elder Law attorney, I get asked this question a lot. And I always try to answer it with compassion, concern, and candor. (And, since my own Mom passed away recently, it’s a question that touches me personally, as well.)
I tell people, first of all, that there’s no single right answer; every patient is different, and every situation is different. The bottom line, as far as medication is concerned, is that she needs to take it…on time and in the right dosage!
If she’s capable of taking her medicine, but just needs reminders, there are a number of “medication minders” at drugstores, medical supply stores, and discount stores. For example, weekly minders might work…but someone has to fill them out at the beginning of each week. And it’s important to remember that that there needs to be reminder for your Mom about what time to take her medicine, as well.
There are also medicine-reminders with alarms that go off. Some families rely on a family member to call the patient each time she needs to take her medicine. Modern life being as frantic as it is, though, this may not be the optimal method; and it may place an unfair burden on the person responsible for calling.
If your Mom goes to an adult day care center, make sure the staff knows to remind her. Just be sure you’ve provided them with the original prescription bottle with the original label.
If none of these systems works, you need to hire someone who can go to the house and administer her medicine. And if that becomes too unwieldy, you may have to face the fact that your Mom might be better off in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we get asked questions like this every day. And, over the past 33 years, we’ve helped thousands of South Florida families prepare for the Elder Law Journey…with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset protection plans, and assistance with Medicaid and the VA.
We know every step of the Elder Law Journey. And we’re just a phone call away.
How Can I Help My Mom Stay at Home – And Manage Her Medications – As Long As Possible?