It doesnt seem like it should take caregivers much thought to decide where to store their aging relatives medications. Just put them in a cupboard or the medicine cabinet, right? Actually, theres a bit more to it than that. How medications are stored can affect how well they work. Environmental factors like light, heat, and humidity can make them less effective. Below are some tips every caregiver should know about how to store medicines.
Never Use the Medicine Cabinet
Its called a medicine cabinet, so it seems like it would be the right place for caregivers to put their older family members medicines. However, it may actually be one of the worst places you can put them. Bathrooms get warm and humid when someone bathes or showers. The moisture can make medicines less potent.
Be Mindful of Grandchildren
If there are children that come into the house, such as the seniors grandchildren, caregivers need to take extra care to put medications in a safe place where children cannot reach them. To a child, pills can look like candy, so they may eat them without knowing the danger. Put medicine bottles away after every use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends keeping them in a high up place where they out of sight. This same advice can also protect older adults with dementia who may mistake medicine for something else or who might forget whether theyve taken a dose or not.
Remember to Keep Pets Safe, Too
Curious cats may knock bottles of medicine off the counter. A feisty dog might jump up and grab one. For those reasons, its unwise to keep bottles of medicine on the kitchen counter if there are pets in the home. Also, if your cat or dog is likely to open cupboards (and some do!), be sure to place them in a cabinet out of the pets reach.
Know How to Store Each Medicine
Some medicines need to be kept in the refrigerator. Others need a cool, dry place. If youre uncertain how a medication should be stored, ask the pharmacist. If the medicine is to be refrigerated, be sure you know what temperature to keep it at.
Many Medicines Need a Cool, Dark, Dry Place
Many pills need to be kept in a place that is cool, dark, and dry. For those kinds of medicines, the best way to store them is in the original bottle they came in, placed in a cabinet or drawer that is away from the sink, stove, or another source of heat.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Edina, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.