I am looking for ideas of what I can leave next to my dad's automated medication dispenser (it's a big device about 14" x 7" x 7") for him to swallow his pills.
I just read about those gels that make it easier for patients to swallow pills. They also sell sprays and coatings for pills. I don't know if those are sweetened. He's diabetic.
They also say that if the patient has trouble swallowing in general, which my dad does, then they shouldn't use those products.
Every time he takes his medication with refrigerated applesauce he has to go from the machine over to the kitchen and it's a lot of wasted movement for him with his walker early in the morning or late at night when he's tired. I thought maybe a nut butter. We have to keep in mind he also has diabetes.
If he opens up one of those little refrigerated snack size containers of unsweetened applesauce, (he currently takes a spoonful at a time out of a jar), I wouldn't feel confident leaving it out all day in case bacteria started growing in it and he got sick.
And they don't have enough money to be having him open up a whole new snack size container every time he has to take his meds.
I'd like to figure out a way where he has about a tablespoons worth of something without sugar in it that can stay fresh on his dresser.
Then we would set up if needed a set of spoons for the week so he's not using the same spoon every time because that's part of the reason he then would go back to the kitchen to put the spoon in the sink or rinse it out.
I do think you could also relax just a tad about a) the quantity of sugar contained in say half a pot of custard and b) the perils of food poisoning. I agree that food hygiene is important, but re-using a licked teaspoon would not mean certain death.
His having a swallowing impairment is a bit more of a worry, especially if he's taking his medication unsupervised. Pharmacists are excellent sources of advice for how to lessen this different set of risks.
Sometimes we disable our loved ones by intervening when we shouldn't. I learned this truth the hard way.
You could get tiny tupperware cups from the dollar store and premeasure the powdered thickener.
He then adds to his water and shake.
As for spoons get disposable ones.
A great option is to ask a speech therapist.
my other suggestion would have been yogurt, but obviously that has to be refrigerated…
is there a reason you can’t move the medication dispenser to be closer to the fridge? And like some others said- exercise is good!! The more movement, the better as our muscles atrophy much quicker as we age. The exercise he gets walking over to the fridge with the walker might be unpleasant for him but it will help him avoid falls in the long run because he is working his leg muscles.
For myself, I have prediabetes and eat natural, whole wheat crackers. I take Trazadone for sleep, so food or milk must be taken to avoid an upset stomach as well as make swallowing easier.
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