I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

13 December 2010

Our New Morning and Evening Routines

My mom has difficulty knowing what to do with pills that she needs to ingest.  I pour a glass of water and put her supplements in a small glass dish.  I use the same dish and the same glass every day to keep it familiar for her.

"OK Ma, take a drink of water.  Go ahead.  Sip it."  I'll coach her.

"OK."  She replies as she sits and holds the glass, looking at it as though to say, "How do I work it?"  My mom looks at the glass of water like it's some huge puzzle to solve, she has no idea what I am asking her to do.

I repeat, slowly.  "Go ahead, it's ok.  Take a drink of the water, do it like this."  I say to her as I put a glass of water to my lips and take a sip.  My mom eventually mimics my action and sips the water.

"Great!"  I offer a bit of positive feedback, hoping that it helps her get through the 10 supplements that need to be swallowed before she can start her day.

"Now take this pill and swallow it like a bullet.  Go ahead, you can do it."  I encourage my mom.

She will look at the pill like she looked at the water.  She has no idea what I am asking her to do.  I take a pill and show her how to do it.  Visual aides seem to help.

It takes nearly an hour for her to swallow all of her supplements in the morning and before bedtime.  It's distressing to witness.  My anxiety makes it harder for her because my tension seems to trigger elevated blood pressure in my mom.  I need to remain calm... this is difficult and requires a conscious effort on my part.

I have noticed that when her blood pressure is high, she can't remember what to do and it takes lots of water to get down just a few pills.  The other night her blood pressure was 131/62.  She swallowed all pills with no memory issues related to how to do a task that once was second nature to her.

I am in a quandary over my mom's pill swallowing issues.  Keeping her blood pressure down seems to be a key to her success with taking supplements that allow her to have more good days.  It's difficult when she can't ingest the supplements that work very well to keep her blood pressure in a very good range.


  1. Geez, it sounds like the scene at my house 4 times a day. My trick is that I ask Mom to open her mouth and then I put the pill directly in her mouth and then give her the water. I might have to ask many times for her to open her mouth but that is what works for us.

  2. We have swallowing issues at times also.

    Normally I just set the pills in front of Hubby and walk away. He will eventually take the on his own if he can. If not, I don't stress about it.

    Another trick we have tried is putting the pills in pudding or apple sauce. If the swallowing issue isn't too bad they will slide right down. If his brain is on swallowing lock up, I learned that pressing the issue makes for a miserable evening for us all.

    Trial and error.

  3. Kim and Kathy, thank you for the solutions that work for you and your LO.

    Here's my issue, my mom isn't on regular pharma drugs where the pills are small. She takes natural herbal supplements that are in capsule form. I could break the capsules into something like apple sauce (which I have done) but then my mom refuses to eat the apple sauce.

    I'm switching her to liquid forms where I can. The herbal blood pressure supplements work awesome to lower her pressure, this is what stresses me out and like Kathy says... makes for a miserable day/evening.

    Kathy... you did give me an idea with apple sauce. I ran out of apple sauce so I couldn't give it a try this morning. But tonight, I will have some and see if she will swallow the capsule (unbroken) in a spoonful of apple sauce.

    Other than the pill swallowing, she's doing really great these days now that she's acclimating to the day program and her new companion/care attendant.

    Thank you again for sharing your solutions!