Taking medication seems like an effortless task, but it may pose particular problems to the seniors. A mix-up can quickly happen due to the multiple medication they must take every day. It is also not uncommon for elders to mistakenly take old or expired drugs if their caretakers are not careful.
To avoid that, here are some helpful tips you can follow:
Store the Medicine Properly
There are medicines that the elderly should take daily. That’s why they are commonly placed in their nightstands, bathroom, kitchen table, or in the living room. This may come as a problem because medicines should be stored in a dry and cool place in general. Heat, moisture, sunlight, humidity, and dust are some factors that can affect how drugs work.
It is also a big NO to put what is left of old medicines into newly filled medicine bottles because this may lead to seniors taking expired drugs. It is a good practice to gather the medicines in one place, or if it requires specific storage, such as refrigeration, you should carefully follow its storage instruction. Drugs should also be kept away from pets and children.
Set-Up a Tracking System
When there are multiple medicines that older adults have to take, it can be hard to track their medicines throughout the day. Creating a simple tracking log and reminder system will significantly help you with this problem.
You can start by taking notes using a pen and paper. You can also create charts with the medicines’ names, required dosage, date, and time of the day it should be taken. Alarms and medicine management apps are also great ways of logging the medicine intakes of the elderly.
You can also use this system to list out all the medicines the seniors are taking. Keeping a separate tracking file of the medicines they consume will help you track how long they are taking it, whether the medicine is about to run out, or if the drug will expire soon.
Tracking the seniors’ drug intake ensures that they do not miss taking their medicines or take expired drugs. Keeping it a routine will help them remember to take their medications.
Throw it Away
The easiest way of keeping expired drugs away from seniors is by throwing them away. Seniors can’t take expired drugs if you don’t have any in your household. Make a habit of checking expiration dates on bottles upon purchasing the medicine to know when it will be invalid.
There are three (3) main ways to dispose of expired medicine: (1) bringing it to take-back events; (2) flushing the medicine; and (3) throwing the drugs in the trash. Each medicine has its proper disposal method. Some medicines have instructions on how to dispose of them, but you can always ask the pharmacist for this information.
Make sure that the medicine you purchase is at trusted stores to guarantee its authenticity. You can also use discount prescription coupons to save money, in case you’ve been throwing away expired medications quite a lot. Taking expired medicine is very harmful to the human body.
These simple tips mentioned will help you and the seniors in your home take safe medicines- far from the dangers of expired ones. Expired drugs can cause various health problems and complications, especially to the elderly. We have to be careful not to risk the lives of our loved ones.