You're helping your dad clear clutter and do a thorough spring cleaning. Have you gone through his medicine cabinet? It's a good time of the year to go through all of the medications he has on hand. While you're doing this, jot a list of all the medications he uses regularly and others that he keeps on hand for less frequent use.
Why It's Important to Keep a List
There are two main reasons to keep a list. First, you have the information needed when he goes to the doctor. A doctor needs to know everything he uses daily or even from time to time. It can be important when prescribing medications. Second, it's a good way for you to be able to look up what he's taking. If he's taking an herbal supplement, you'll be able to ask why and determine with his doctor if it's necessary.
What to Do While Going Through the Medications
As you go through your dad's medicine cabinet, check the expiration date. These dates are often in very small print, so you might need a magnifying glass. Next, ask him which over-the-counter medications he takes. If he bought sleeping pills to help him sleep but hated how they made him feel, there's no point in keeping the medication.
Look for pills that seem to have been stored improperly. If a pill is growing mold or mildew, it may have been exposed to moisture and should be disposed of. Medications that say “keep refrigerated” and are sitting in a warm cupboard are also a concern.
Properly Dispose of the Medications
If there is no medication take-back program in your dad's area, the FDA has guidelines on how to safely dispose of medications. Empty the pills into something people won't want to touch, such as a plastic bag filled with dirt or kitty litter. Seal the bag and toss it into your kitchen trash.
Before recycling prescription pill bottles or another form of packaging, remove or black out identifying information on the package. You don't want someone seeing the medication name and tracking it to your dad's address. It increases the chances of a drug-related break-in.
If your dad's cognitive skills are declining, keep medications locked away. You don't want him accidentally taking the wrong medication or too much of one. Hire a caregiver to help remind him when it's time to take his prescription medications. Caregivers can also make sure he's eating and drinking at regular intervals.
Learn more about other services offered by caregivers. When you schedule caregivers on days you can't visit, your dad gains companionship and has someone helping him stay healthy and safe. Call us today to learn more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Lakewood, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.