The medicine cabinet is one area of anyone’s home that typically gets overlooked as a place to clean or organize. Because medicines only have a limited shelf life, it is important to go through it once in a while to remove expired medicines as well as any that might interfere with new medications a senior may be taking.
- Start with expired medicines – Go through the cabinet at least once per year and remove any that are expired. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the proper method of disposal before tossing them though, not every medication can just be thrown in the garbage.
- Stock up on necessities – Every medicine cabinet should have the basics, such as over-the-counter pain relievers, antiseptic for cuts and burns, bandages and remedies for stomach aches or heartburn.
- Keep prescription medicines close – Try to avoid putting prescription medicines in the back of the cabinet where they might get ignored. If they are something that needs to be taken on a daily basis, keep them up front where they will be noticed and taken in a timely manner.
- Talk to the doctor – Seniors should talk to their doctor about the over-the-counter medicines that are safe for them to take, including pain medicines, cold or flu medicines. Some might pose a problem if they are mixed with certain prescriptions. Knowing what is safe to take and what is not will also help keep the medicine cabinet organized.
Your senior’s in-home care professional can help him or her keep the medicine cabinet organized and free from medications that should not be in there, whether they are expired or not safe to take. This will help to ensure the safety of your senior when you cannot be there.