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What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of My Elderly Parent’s Old Medicines?

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Holding on to medications after they expire is one of the most common ways seniors mismanage their medications. Seniors may end up taking the wrong dose if they get old medications mixed up with new ones, and older medications might not be as effective or safe to use. Here are some tips for making sure you get rid of your aging parent’s expired medications safely.

Talk About the Dangers of Expired Medications

For many caregivers, half the challenge of removing expired medications from the home is their parents. Seniors may feel anxiety at the idea of getting rid of once essential medications, so they may try to hide medications or retrieve them from the trash. If possible, talk about how expired medications no longer work as well and explain that your parent may not get the help he or she needs from keeping the medicines. In situations where your parent’s judgement is impaired, you may need to pick a time when he or she is busy to remove the trash from the home.

Medication management can be difficult for older adults with cognitive issues such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Milwaukee at-home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

Set Reminders for When Medications Expire

For each one of your parent’s medications, read all the labels and instructions carefully and make a note of when each medication expires. Set reminders in your phone or online calendar to notify you when the medicines are no longer good to use.

Check for Local Medication Take-Back Programs

Since many healthcare providers know about the danger of expired medication, they often have programs through which they take back medications that aren’t used by the expiration date. Call your doctor or local pharmacy to see if this is an option. It’s a safe way of removing expired medications without requiring much hassle.

Assisting with medication management can be a challenging task for overworked caregivers. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Milwaukee, WI, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Read Disposal Instructions

If you’re going to get rid of the medicine at home, read the label to see if there are any specific disposal instructions. Some medications are considered very unsafe to leave out or put in the trash, so the instructions may tell you to flush them down the toilet as soon as possible.

Know How to Safely Throw Away Medication

Just leaving pills in bottles and throwing them out isn’t a wise option. If you do this, the medications may be abused by others or could possibly injure a child. Instead, government recommendations involve mixing the pills or medications with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, putting it in a sealed plastic bag, and then throwing it away.

Remove Personal Information from Pill Bottles

Some people go through others’ trash to gather and abuse personal information. To prevent this from happening, use a permanent marker or other device to black out information on the bottles. This step prevents criminals from using your loved one’s medical information to get false prescriptions in his or her name.

Older adults who need help managing their medications should consider professional home care services. Families shouldn’t have to worry about finding reliable senior care. Milwaukee Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elderly home care. We offer a proprietary program called the Balanced Care Method, which uses holistic methods to promote senior health, our caregivers and Care Managers are available 24/7, and all of our in-home care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. For compassionate, reliable in-home care, trust the experienced professionals from Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our dedicated Care Managers today at Milwaukee (414) 964-8000 or Waukesha (262) 782-3383 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.