Caregiver Corner: Tips for giving medication

Administering medication to someone with Alzheimer’s can be a daunting responsibility. Preventing missed pills or giving the wrong dosage are valid concerns. Here are some suggestions:

  • Learn about each medication before administering. Make sure you know exactly what each pill is for and the possible side effects.
  • Clearly explain exactly what each pill is for. Tell the person with Alzheimer’s why and how they need to take it.
  • Keep good records of each medication. Make note of dosage and frequency.
  • Organize medications. Store them safely out of reach in a locked cabinet or drawer.
  • Develop a routine. Giving medications in a specific way at specific times can help reduce conflicts. But if the person doesn’t want to take it at a particular moment, try again later.
  • Make the task as easy as possible. Ask your pharmacist for liquid, which may be easier to give than a pill, or ask if you can crush the pill and put it in food (no pill or tablet should be crushed without first consulting your physician or pharmacist).

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