My son had a stroke- how do I get him to take his medicine?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 18, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My son had a stroke- how do i get him to take his medicine? He only 21.

Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

It depends on his functional status. If he is not taking his medicines for physical reasons, such as an inability to swallow, then this needs to be looked at by a medical professional right away. He might need his medicines prepared in an easy-to-swallow form, or may even need a feeding tube. Or, if the problem is mental, due to the stroke, your doctor can help arrange a program to help control his behavior or find easier ways to get him the medicines.

If, however, the problem is more psychological, this is a time-honored struggle for which I am not sure there is any easy answer. I would try to enroll the help of his peers. Perhaps a brother, sister, or friend would be a strong ally in the effort to get him to take his medicines. A psychological counselor may be needed.  

If he had a stroke at age 21, he absolutely needs to be taking his prescribed medicines. Be forceful and get the help of others. Do not accept “No” for an answer. It is too risky for his long term heath.