Chapter 3: Medication safety
Safe storage of medications and supplies
I would hate for my forgetfulness to cause a mishap when our grandson stopped by, so I just kept the meds up high in a closed cupboard that locked – a bit inconvenient, but better safe than sorry.As a caregiver, you may be responsible for picking up, storing, giving, and disposing of medications.
Below are some tips for storing and keeping the medications that can help improve safety for everyone. Click the switch button to see some helpful suggestions and some things to avoid.
Store medicine in a cool, dark, dry, and secure place such as a cupboard or lockbox.
Only store medicine in the fridge when instructed on the label.
As much as possible, limit the number of times bottles are opened.
Keep medicine away from children and pets.
Consider keeping all medicines in one place for convenience.
Avoid mixing up current medications with ones that have been discontinued. Take discontinued medication to a pharmacy for safe disposal.
Avoid storing medicine in a bathroom as it can be too warm and too moist.
Avoid leaving medications in an area where children or pets can get into them.
Storing medical supplies
It’s important to keep items such as syringes and other sharp products, sterile supplies such as gauze, and other medical supplies in safe places. Click the switch button to see some helpful suggestions and some things to avoid.
Using clear plastic bins allows you to see your supplies from the outside.
Add labels to the shelf, closet, plastic bins, and anywhere else that is helpful.
Categorize items and store them by category, especially if you need more than one type of supply at a time.
Use empty space to store medical supplies, for example, stacking shelves with plastic drawers.Be creative. Some caregivers use magnets and magnetic containers to store supplies in metal cabinets or on metal boards.
Don’t keep medications and medical supplies scattered in different places. Instead, use a specific a shelf or closet for only that. After you have used something, try to put it back right away.
To save space, don’t leave items in their original bulky packaging. However, don’t throw away important information that comes with the packaging, for example, expiry dates.