How do I make my mom understand that I am preparing her pills on a weekly basis because she forgets to take them? She wants to gets her pill bottles back but she has lost them or not taken them. She feels like a nobody because she does not have her pills and seems to have given up on life. It is breaking my heart. Do I give her back the pills and monitor that she is taking them?

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Hi, thank you for writing in! Well, here’s the thing: you’re not going to be able to get her to “understand” that she forgets to take them, or that you’re setting it up so she will be able to have her meds. It just isn’t going to work, because even if she ends up believing you, she’s going to forget that you told her what you’re doing. My best suggestion is to get her an automatic pill dispenser. I would definitely not give her the bottles back because she’s either going to take too many accidentally, or, more likely, not take any at all. Does she live with you or by herself? This sounds like a case where I’d also look into an in-home care agency to help!

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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