Dreads the Meds: Why Your Aging Relative Avoids Medications

medication tablets

Medicines are supposed to improve your elderly loved one’s health. But caregivers know well that making seniors take their meds isn’t easy. In fact, it’s one of those things that almost always stir up conflicts between the caregiver and the aging relative. So, what exactly makes seniors refuse medications? Here are some reasons:

Bad Taste

Some medications can be really unpleasant in the mouth. Take note also that aging adults experience changes in taste buds, so they perceive taste differently. If this is the case with your relative, ask their doctor if the meds can be taken with food or drinks. If that’s okay, mix the medicines on their food or beverage.

For the liquid medicines, blend it with their milk or juice. For the solid pills, you can put tiny pieces on their meals. If the drug shouldn’t be crushed, place it in food that can be eaten without chewing, like mashed potato. This will help obscure the taste of the drug. You can also have your loved one put the pill at the back of their tongue so that it’s easily washed down with water.


Memory lapses are a natural part of aging. And given that most older adults have lots of medicines to take in a day, at a specific time, with a specific dosage, it’s almost inevitable to forget which to take when and how. This is common among adults who live independently and have no one to remind them. In such situations, senior home health care services in Havertown can help. These specialists will ensure that your relative is taking the drugs correctly.

Take note also that your parent’s forgetfulness may be due a serious illness, like dementia, and not just the fact that they’re aging. Join them on their visit to the doctor to know what’s up.

Side Effects

Medicines come with side effects. The most common are drowsiness and stomach pains. Such side effects could make your loved one really upset about taking them. Bring these symptoms up in your discussion with their doctor, especially if the prescribed drugs are already affecting your relative’s daily routines. The physician should provide you with alternative medicines or therapies or recommend other strategies to lessen the side effects.

Be proactive as well in noticing the side effects of drugs. Even though your loved one isn’t complaining about them, you must take note of body or behavior changes so you can discuss these with their doctor. This will help in monitoring your relative’s health better.
There are a lot of reasons your loved one is refusing to take medications. Be conscious of such, so you can take appropriate measures.