First of all, remember that it is extremely important for your loved one to take his/her prescribed medications. Not doing so could cause both physical and mental problems and could lead to the emergency room. How best to manage medication will depend on how much medication she takes, how many times a day she takes it and her ability to manage it.
If your loved one is capable of taking her medication and just needs reminders, you can purchase some devices. One of them from ALR Technologies, http://www.alrt.com, is inexpensive and the size of your palm. It is called the Med Reminder. It uses a beeping sound and a visual signal as a reminder to take the medication at the prescribed time, day and night.
You will find instructions on how to operate this device on the above website.
If on the other hand, your loved one is in a stage where she cannot remember to take medication, then you, or someone else, for example a nurse or family member, will need to intervene and give it to her. In the mid to later stages of Alzheimer’s, you need to observe her taking medication. You should also watch her when eating, as people with Alzheimer’s disease begin to have difficulty swallowing as the disease progresses. This is a real concern for those caring for them, as caregivers need to be constantly on alert to intervene if needed.
If your loved one is in a nursing home and you see that the medication is affecting her in a negative way, you may ask the nursing home to change the medication. You may need to make an appointment and let the administrator know that you observed some changes since your loved one started her medication. You can also ask to attend the next planning meeting for your loved one. By law, family members are to be informed and invited to the meetings. If the staff still doesn’t want to deal with this issue, you can call the long-term care ombudsman in your state. Ombudsmen are volunteers who have been trained to advocate for and on behalf of the residents of nursing homes. They will try to mediate between you and the facility.
And remember, you know your loved one best. So trust your feelings and work with the caregivers when managing medication for your Alzheimer’s patient.