Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Pill Pusher and Other Routines

Tuppleware cup with pills now works
We were out late last night. We both forgot our pills last night because we were out to midnight after a wedding and came home tired and the PILL PUSHER (me) forgot to take the pills to the reception and forgot to have us take our pills when we came home.

Pill-taking has been trial and error. Sometimes hubby refuses to take pills if it isn't in the routine that works. He has often forgotten pills in the SUN-SAT pill container even though those are in plain sight. But routine does work with dementia patients.
Alzheimer's patients like routine, but not always variety. Hubby's meal routines work for us when I have to leave the house. For breakfast DH has coffee usually or Diet Lipton Green Tea, one Emerald Breakfast on the go! packet, unsweetened applesauce that I put in a little container (I keep several in the frig) and two "ice cubes" of coconut oil fudge I have written about on this blog. His pills come out of a Sun-Sat AM pill box that I put in a little Tuppleware cup on the plate.  Lunch will be on  plate in the frig when I am gone: a sandwich in a baggie, yogurt with blueberries added and crunchies, and two more coconut oil fudge "ice cubes", a lunch that he rarely  needs to warm up because most of the time it is just a sandwich.  I use this pill tupperware cup at dinner for his PM pills as well (just didn't work last night).

This morning I left the house at 6:30 AM for my 7 AM Weight Watcher meeting before assembling my husband's simple breakfast above, letting him sleep in. I thought I would be home in time for us to have breakfast together. Instead I called him to tell him how to put it together so I could go to breakfast after Weight Watchers with two ladies. On the phone I gave him one idea at a time: get the breakfast packet, etc. He was able to do this because this simple breakfast he has many days is part of his routine. He likes to feel he can do things.

He even called my cell this morning  to see how he could feed our dog. He remembered that he is supposed to ask me each morning if I have fed the dog and if The Pill Pusher has had her pills--then he checks these off on his clipboard schedule for the day. Routine is soooo important for Alzheimer's patients.

So in summary on routines:
  • Clipboard schedule with activities to check off. Schedule also has phone numbers on it. Husband requested schedule some time ago and it works for us because he knows he has dementia and needs reminders.
  • Tuppleware with pills on the breakfast and dinner plate so that Pill Pusher doesn't have to nag.
  • Keep items in the same place. Don't change where the cell phone gets plugged in for example!
But oh those cell phones and keys! I am the one that needs to have a routine to check on these things!


  1. It's hard trying to remember everything......
    Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thanks for your sweet comments and suggestions on my blog.

  2. I laughed to myself when I read your description as the 'pill pusher' because that is what the lady I care for calls me! She'll say, 'oh, here comes the pill pusher'! :-)

    It sounds like you've found what works for you!