What to Do with Expired and Unwanted Senior Medications

What to Do with Expired and Unwanted Senior Medications

With many older adults taking numerous prescriptions, and with doctors adding and changing dosages and medications to determine the ideal solutions, it’s crucial to understand what to do with expired and unwanted senior medications. There are several options:

  1. Check labels. The prescription's label or informational literature may provide directions about how to properly dispose of the drug. 
  2. Bring unused and expired prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and natural health products to your local pharmacist for proper disposal. All pharmacies in Canada are required to accept unused or expired medications any day of the year. 
  3. Participate in a local municipality or police force take back program. Check your local area for program dates.
  4. Avoid flushing any medication down the toilet. This is an improper disposal of drugs that may contribute to pharmaceuticals being detected in the environment.  
  5. Camouflage when disposing. If you must dispose of medications in the regular garbage (which is not recommended), take safeguards to prevent animals from inadvertently eating them or from anyone seeking drugs to uncover and take them.  Suggestions include hiding the drugs with an undesirable substance – such as kitty litter or coffee grounds – and then placing in a sealed plastic bag prior to adding to your household garbage bag. 
  6. Eliminate identifying information. Make certain to scratch out and/or shred any personal information to safeguard the senior’s identification in order to protect against anybody who is unauthorized from locating the pill container and obtaining a refill of the prescribed medication. 

For more assistance with medications, including medication reminders to ensure older adults take prescriptions just as recommended by the doctor, contact the aging care professionals at Amy’s Helping Hands. We’re also available to assist with a wide array of aging care needs in the home that improve overall wellbeing for senior loved ones, such as:

  • Assistance with hygiene and personal care needs
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Light household chores
  • Companionship to engage in enjoyable activities and conversations
  • Transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments and outings
  • Running errands, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
  • And much more

Reach out to us at 519.915.4370  to request an in-home assessment to allow us to share how we can help with a loved one’s senior care in Windsor-Essex and the surrounding areas.