It isn’t springtime quite yet, but now is as good a time as any to start planning for the season ahead. Many families spend time cleaning their homes and gardens as the weather turns warmer, and we recommend including a specific annual task: cleaning out your medicine cabinet. Here are some tips and guidelines to help get you started—we suggest cleaning out your own medicine cabinet in addition to assisting your aging loved ones with this chore. 

Talk to the doctor and/or pharmacist

Begin by getting an up-to-date list of your aging loved one’s prescription medications (you should be able to obtain this from their pharmacist). You may find that what’s in their medicine cabinet doesn’t directly correspond to what they’re currently prescribed—something that can cause problems if the wrong medication is taken in error! Place all expired medications in a bag along with anything that is not currently prescribed to your loved one. This bag can be taken to the pharmacist for safe disposal—do not throw it out with the regular trash.

While you’re taking care of this step, make a list of any non-prescription medications and supplements your loved one is currently taking. Ask the pharmacist to check for potential drug interactions—some ‘safe and natural’ vitamins and supplements can become problematic when combined with certain prescriptions.

Remove and replace expired items

Not everything in a medicine cabinet is given by prescription, so you’ll also have bottles of over-the-counter medications and other products (topical muscle relaxants, antibacterial creams or first aid products, for example). Go through these products as well in order to remove expired items and make a list of things to purchase. It’s best to keep the basics on hand: painkillers and/or fever reducers, digestive aids, antacids, an antibacterial ointment like Polysporin, topical pain relief for sore muscles, antihistamines and other necessities. A first aid kit is also helpful—you never know when you’ll need a bandage or antiseptic to help deal with a minor injury.

Contact us to learn more about homecare

By following these simple but effective tips, you’re helping to ensure your aging loved one’s safety and wellness. Thanks for reading—we hope you’ve found this post helpful and will share it with anyone who may need a reminder to clean out their medicine cabinet. If you’re interested in learning more about in-home caregiver services in Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton and the surrounding areas, please contact us. We’d be pleased to offer a complimentary consultation and personalized quote.