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Medication Advice

I was wondering whether any of you knowledgeable lot can help.

My mother-in-law lives on her own and for the past 17 years has suffered with mental illness. She takes a cocktail of tablets every day which she now, as she gets older, is getting more and more confusing for her. When she gets confused it appears that she takes the tablets randomly and she has boxes of tablets not touched and others that she runs out of. Last year we were aware of this after a spell in hospital and arranged for her tablets to be sorted into a dosette box (dispensed weekly but separated into morning, afternoon and evening for every day of the week). She can be very stubborn and if she feels that someone is "interfering" she will refuse to acknowledge that it is a better method, in this case she said that she couldn't get on with the box and reverted back to a number of boxes of tablets being delivered every week.

Over the last week her mental state has deteriorated considerably and as of yesterday had now been admitted to hospital, when my wife and I went to her house yesterday to get some of her belongings we found a number of packets of tablets that she should have taken. My wife and I are not doctors but we believe that her confusion of what to take and when has had a direct impact on her ability to deal with everyday living.

Hopefully her time in hospital will give time for them stabilise her and her medication so she can see clearly once again.

However, we have concerns that this may happen again, with her refusing to have the dosette box is anyone aware of a service whereby someone can go to her house morning, afternoon and evening to dispense her medication to her?

I welcome your thoughts and experiences of similar situations.

Comments

  • I have just realised that i have posted this in "General Charton" category, if Mods see this please change to "Not Sports Related" as i don't know how to do it.
  • edited July 3
    My ma in law now has similar, delivered weekly by her chemist. They call them blister packs.

    One lot of pills for the morning and one lot for the afternoon.

    She suffers from osteoporosis (apart from everything else) and was on calcium tablets for this.

    Somehow she "overdosed" on calcium and went temporary doolally. Like a temporary dementia that lasted 2 weeks.

    Once her levels were corrected she was ok.

    The only form of help is carers either paid for by herself or the local authority, depending upon her financial situation.

    She can possibly claim Attendance Allowance (you can claim for her).

    Presuming family, friends, neighbours can't oblige.

    Best of luck.
  • Thanks CE, maybe an attendance allowance maybe something we have to look into have a carer of some sort.
  • My mother has 2 like these (1 used to be my father's). They work well - they can't make you take your tablets but do prevent overdosing.

    https://amazon.co.uk/MEDELERT-TAB2-AUTOMATIC-DISPENSER-REMINDER/dp/B003TSTTHU
  • Thanks Al, when she came out of hospital last year she had someone come to see her everyday for a couple of weeks, during that time she was stable as her meds were being consumed correctly. Their view was there was nothing more they can do as she appeared ok but she then slipped into poor health as her confusion set in again.
  • edited July 3

    I was wondering whether any of you knowledgeable lot can help.

    My mother-in-law lives on her own and for the past 17 years has suffered with mental illness. She takes a cocktail of tablets every day which she now, as she gets older, is getting more and more confusing for her. When she gets confused it appears that she takes the tablets randomly and she has boxes of tablets not touched and others that she runs out of. Last year we were aware of this after a spell in hospital and arranged for her tablets to be sorted into a dosette box (dispensed weekly but separated into morning, afternoon and evening for every day of the week). She can be very stubborn and if she feels that someone is "interfering" she will refuse to acknowledge that it is a better method, in this case she said that she couldn't get on with the box and reverted back to a number of boxes of tablets being delivered every week.

    Over the last week her mental state has deteriorated considerably and as of yesterday had now been admitted to hospital, when my wife and I went to her house yesterday to get some of her belongings we found a number of packets of tablets that she should have taken. My wife and I are not doctors but we believe that her confusion of what to take and when has had a direct impact on her ability to deal with everyday living.

    Hopefully her time in hospital will give time for them stabilise her and her medication so she can see clearly once again.

    However, we have concerns that this may happen again, with her refusing to have the dosette box is anyone aware of a service whereby someone can go to her house morning, afternoon and evening to dispense her medication to her?

    I welcome your thoughts and experiences of similar situations.

    I recently had a similar problem .. the only safe solution is to take her medication out of her own hands and get carers (or a district nurse) to oversee this .. as @Covered End writes, this might have to be paid for if your relative is not eligible for state support including Carer's Allowance/Attendance Allowance .. check her qualification for benefits at Gov.co.uk the all encompassing UK Government site
  • One of the comforts of my mother getting long term dementia was losing her dependence on god knows what kind of all sorts of medication. Wierdly she was better for it although ill with dementia.
    very much just in her case and I don't know if it counts for everybody.
    Medicine for pain or physical illness is a different matter.
  • vffvff
    edited July 3
    Talk to GP around either referral to community mental health team for review & support via CPN, & Consultant Psychiatrist as needed. If she is not managing meals / personal care then request assessment social services & carers can prompt medication as part of package. You want usually get social services carers to just support with medication on its own. That would be self funded. A capacity assessment on the understanding of & specific decision around talking meds may come into play. Probably best to start with support via CPN.
  • She has been under the mental health team a number of times over the years but after a while they stop coming not sure for the reason for this though.
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  • Essex_Al said:

    Contact Social Services and see if you can get a care package put in place. Part of the care plan would be for the carers to oversee your MIL taking her medication.

    As Essex Al says.
    The carers come in 3 times a day to give the medication and any other things required. It's handy if a family member can be present to help persuade the M i L to take the medication at first as it can be a struggle.
    Good luck.
  • apologies if any of this is stating the bleeding obvious -

    age uk (used to be 'age concern) offer information and advice to families / carers of older people - may be worth at least a visit to their website. in some areas they have local offices you can drop in for advice, and they do have a telephone advice line.

    there's stuff on their website about benefits etc - sounds like it would be worth a claim for attendance allowance (not means tested, and the person claiming it does not need to have full time care). from memory, carers allowance could only be claimed by someone who was caring full time (unpaid, e.g. a family member) for her.

    also wouldn't do any harm to think about whether she might be eligible for any means tested benefits if she's on a lowish income, e.g. pension credit (it's a benefit, not 'credit' in the way it generally means), housing benefit (if she pays rent), council tax benefit (if she's liable to pay council tax) - if you have a rough idea of her income / savings then there's a benefits calculator (independent of government / councils) here - obviously you'll know whether asking her about this sort of thing would go down well or not.

    her local social services (if she's somewhere outside London where there's still a county as well as a district council then it's the county council) may be able to assist, although if MiL is reluctant to have them involved, it may be difficult to push this. and with the funding constraints on most local authorities, most have to be encouraged to get involved.

    Social Services are also supposed to assess the needs of carers - by this I mean friends / family rather than paid care workers. (Again, Age UK will have more info on this sort of thing)
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