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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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Any suggestions on how to get a patient in a hospital to

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Any suggestions on how to get a patient in a hospital to take her medication. Sometimes...When my mom 88 y.o. get too little sleep or or just before night the night she goes bilergerant and defensive to her sons and nurses who are try to help her get better. Today she was scheduled to take Gastro intestinal testing procedure....which requires no food for 12 hours. Before the procedure starts, she needs to take a pill or 2. Unfortunatley her bilergerant "get away from me" kinipshun fit side appears. She only gets this way when medication is flowing through her viens introveniously and not at all common when she is well and at home. The question is..... How do you convince a patient she needs to take the pill and do the procedure to get well...or at least take the pill so the procedure can take place.

Hello. Thank you for coming to JustAnswer with your question, and welcome.

As I think you understand, this is very difficult to do. Realistically, you need to approach the her when she is "in the mood" to take medications. It sounds like she has a bit of dementia, or at least a delirium caused by her illness and being in the hospital. You will not be able to reason with her when she is in this state.

If she is not in the right state of mind to take her meds willingly, the only way to get them in would be to force them on her (which is unethical in most cases). You can try to entice her with some ice cream or apple sauce with the medications hidden in it, however if she realizes what you are doing it could make the situation worse, and create a situation where she is even more distrustful of you and/or medical personnel. Unfortunately, the more tricky you get, the more stubborn and paranoid the patient gets.

The best thing to do is to let the physician know that the prep cannot be completed as she is refusing to take any pills by mouth. There may be another option (a liquid perhaps you could mix into something). Other options might be a different type of test, or even rescheduling the test so you can try again another time.

Valarie and other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
not just the meds....she does not want her sons. she is saying "you are not my son" . She does not want to eat or have the nurses touch her and want to call the police, even thoughshe can not lift her hands or feet off the bed. It's the bacteria, germs in her bloodstream that make her and all others ack this way. Antibiotics and sedatives is what may work. Your answer of waiting and reschedule test for another time is well accepted. Thanks

Your description of her symptoms and behavior is classic. Her cognitive and emotional state has been negatively influenced by her illness, change of people around her, change of environment, along with all the "procedures" that are being done to her and around her---none of which she able to understand. So, this creates fear and paranoia. Any time she responds to something (anything) with such behavior, the best thing to do is to back off. Reassure her. Let her relax for awhile. Then re-approach later.

Hopefully the hospital staff can complete her treatment as soon as possible so that she can return to more familiar surroundings and routines. This will help a great deal.

The other thing to consider might be the actual importance of the test. Ask yourself if any findings are going to change her treatment plan to improve her life. If not, maybe it really doesn't need to be done. Just a thought.

At this point, the primary goal (I would think) would be her comfort, be that physical, emotional, or cognitively.

Good luck to you. And best wishes for your Mom's recovery.

You're welcome, and thank you.

(note: I must post this as an answer, but do not feel obligated to accept again).