Checking the Dates of Our Senior Parents’ Medications

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Knowing what medications our aging parents take is vital, along with how each of the medications interact with each other. Knowing how old the medications are is another important need for all of us senior home care givers. It’s important that any out-of-date medication be disposed of carefully, for the health of your aging parent and to prevent anyone else from taking medications that don’t belong to them.

When our senior parents are close to us, the process is usually pretty easy. Some just need reminding, while others will appreciate our offer to help or even do it for them. If yours does not want it done and you are concerned for their welfare, I would suggest talking to their doctor or nurse privately and having them bring it up as a directive at your parent’s next visit. It’s amazing how much power that can have. 🙂

In rare and extreme cases, a few senior home care givers may need to do it surreptitiously in which case I would try to do one – two medications at a time, making sure they get a replacement medication in a timely manner.

We can’t check on our long distance relatives’ medications as easily, of course, but we can help by reminding them. A useful tip for both near and far is to put a reminder on our own calendar one – two times each year. I would follow the fire department’s good idea and couple this reminder with the time change. Those make great times to help our close by relatives and remind our long distance parents to change their security alarm batteries of any kind (smoke, fire, burglar, etc.) as well as encouraging them to weed through and safely dispose of any medications that are now out of date.

These are simple tips that can make a major positive impact. They can go a long way to helping our aging parents stay healthy longer, which is a blessing for them AND for us. 🙂

The Wright Stuff
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