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Elderly Armour Thyroid non-compliance, How dangerous is this?

Dear Dr. Lupo,  I have an 80+ year old mom, whom I don't live with.  My "dad" has some control issues, so talking is not really an option.  I have faxed her Doctor and in part said, "she is a minimum of 30-40% non-compliant with her
medications, perhaps much more. Her dosing is haphazard."   (Her husband does not help her actually take her meds.)  So after labwork, her doc told her to go from 2 grain Armour Thyroid to 3 grain.  Fine, except she hasn't been taking much of any of her meds and I am not sure how long it has really been.  So she might go from 0mg to 180mg thryoid, if she ever starts  taking them, and I am trying to keep my mom safe & healthy.  She has a huge history of major depression, but when I ask my "dad", do you think she's depressed?  He will look straight at me and say "NO".  God knows what they are telling their doctor. My mom claims she is taking her medicine, but only 1  pill-set out of nine days was taken (27 possible pill-sets).   So depression is one strong possibility, hypothyroid another, early senile dementia, or early altzheimers are just other guesses.  Except I am not getting a home assessment, a neurological workup, a psychiatric workup, or neurocognitive testing.  And I can't get my mom dressed or out of the house with me.  I am the only one locally who is worried out of my mind.  I am crying and not sleeping some nites.  I just hate to see my mom treated like this.  Right now, she is a very vulnerable adult.  Any suggestions would be greatfully and respectfully treated.  What's going on should be a crime, but I gather it is legal for things like this to continue.  Oh, my mom had her thyroid out.  So the medication is her ONLY source of thyroid.  Again, Thank You very Much!
2 Responses
213044 tn?1236527460
Me again. :-)
I'm not stalking you, really.
If you want to talk to Dr. Lupo, you need to ask your question here;


Your step-father is the fly in the ointment. You could have a county nurse, or home healthcare worker, or public health come in and evaluate her, but not if he won't let them in the house.

Somehow you need to get her to the doctor with you in the exam room.

The bottom line is, if he is more competant than she is, he needs to assume the responsibility of making sure she takes her meds. It sounds like he doesn't care if she takes them or not.

Maybe you can sit him down and tell him in a loving way that if your mother dies because of his neglect, he will be in some scuzzy nursing home within a week.

Maybe he is past scaring, and is not competant enough to care for her.

A very difficult situation.

You know my experience with my Mother and my MIL. Caring for elderly parents without stepping on their toes is very difficult. I hope some of the other members here have helpful suggestions. You are not the only one dealing with this problem.

Best of luck to you.
168348 tn?1379357075
Welcome to the Thyroid Community.  I am so sorry you are dealing with these issues right now and you are a very loving,devoted, caring daughter .... I would be like you are now if it were my Mom and had concerns as you do.

Do you work at all in a Co. that may have an Elder Care program?  Some companies offer free advice for their employees.  That is one idea.

AR really posted quite a few good tips .. the one about you going with your Mom to the Dr.is a very realistic one .. even if she no ..you just insist and insist.  Will the Dr. talk to you at all "off the record" maybe?  Not sure how that goes but probably won't do so with all the new privacy laws, etc.

I hope that Dr. Lupo on the other board may have some insight for you .. He is very well respected not only on this board but in the community he works because some people on this very board have spoken to him or scheduled appts with him.  This is what I have heard so that is an idea to post there, too.

Keep in touch with us and do letus know how things are going.  It is very difficult when we have to deal with not only our own health but that of an elder.

WELCOME to the THYROID BOARD ...your mom does not have a thyroid ... it's tough to know what her TSH #'s are at and how much is bcz of meds being missed .. this, to be honest, is a fear I have for the future as I am totally reliant upon synthroid since my surgery last year .. I hope I have somebody look after me as you are doing now for her.

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