Caregiver tips for medication management

With widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines, the world is opening again. This is especially good news for older Americans, as isolation took its toll on mental and physical health.

Outside of loneliness and isolation, social distancing also presented a new set of dangers and challenges, one of which was that aging Americans were increasingly required to manage their medications on their own. This is significant in that older adults take more prescribed and over-the-counter medications than any other age group, often leaving unused and expired pills stored in medicine cabinets, pill boxes and bathroom cabinets.

With visitor restrictions being modified or lifted in many nursing and retirement communities, caregivers may once again help with

monitoring prescriptions and unused medications. Review of the current medications is important, and it also may be time to properly dispose of any unused and expired medications.

Five strategies can help caregivers manage the medications for an aging relative:

  1. Use one pharmacy for all medication needs so that there is a comprehensive medical record in one place. Pharmacists are also well-informed about medications and the potential for adverse drug interactions and dosage mistakes.
  2. Develop an easy-to-understand system for taking medications, such as labeled weekly pill dispensers or alerts on a smart phone and discuss the plan with your loved one.
  3. Medicines should be stored in the original containers, away from heat, light and moisture, and avoid a kitchen cabinet or the bathroom. Medications should also be safely stored out of the sight and reach of guests or children. While convenient and effective for seniors, brightly colored pill boxes can be enticing for children and pose a danger if there are young people visiting the home.
  4. Regularly inventory and review medications to avoid confusion and ensure that drugs are not taken when no longer needed or expired. Then safely dispose of all unneeded drugs. While the DEA National Drug Take Back Days are hosted in spring and fall annually, you can find a secure disposal site any time of the year, or ask your local pharmacist for a free packet of DisposeRx to easily discard of medication at home.
  5. If your family member is in a Medicare drug plan (Part D) and has complex health needs, he/she may be eligible for the free Medication Therapy Management This involves a comprehensive review of all medications being taken with the doctor or pharmacist and provides a written summary and plan to make the best use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbals and other dietary supplements.

As we’re able to safely resume more frequent contact with family members who need support, it’s important to take steps to ensure that our parents and loved ones are set up in the most effective and efficient way to manage their medications. These efforts can go a long way to ensure their long-term health and wellbeing.

New Address

DisposeRx has moved! Our corporate office
address is now located at:


DisposeRx, Inc.
146 NW Broad Street
Southern Pines, NC 28387


Please update your address book. Thank you and remember to check your medicine cabinet and dispose of any unneeded or expired medications.

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