Expert answers from
How can I persuade my relative to take medication regularly?
Dr Juliana Onwumere: Difficulties with taking medication regularly, sadly, is very common.
And we all appreciate that that can often be quite frustrating, because when we want someone to take medication, it’s often from a belief that we think the medication is going to be helpful or beneficial in some ways, and it can be often very difficult to sit back and watch that, if someone is not taking that regularly.
I guess it’s important to try and avoid having lots and lots of discussions about medication, and particularly if the discussions are: ‘you should take your medication’ and the response is: ‘I don’t want to’, because it can sometimes have a negative impact on the relationship, and really what you’re wanting to do, is try and encourage your relative to think about their medication in a way that could be helpful for them.
One way of being able to ensure that people continue to have a positive relationship with their medication is to find out what is bothering them in the first place.
For some who don't take their medication regularly, it might be because of the unwanted effects of their medication... some of them being quite embarrassing and feeling quite personal.
I think one of the important things to think about with your relative is what are the difficulties.
In terms of trying to ensure that your relation takes their medication regularly, that can often be quite a big job for family or a relative to take on, and beyond sort of gentle encouragement, I would again encourage you to try and take those issues and share those issues with your relative’s team, and encourage your relative to share that with the mental health team.
Because often teams and many staff really do want to know how people are finding their medications because sometimes, if they don’t know how it’s affecting them, they can’t really change that, so that’s a really important thing to think about.
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