Medication Safety Checklist for Older Adults


Medications are critical to the health and safety of most older adults. With many seniors living with chronic illnesses longer than ever, the number of medications seniors take has sky rocketed, with many taking over 3 medications a day.

Whether you're taking too much, too little, the wrong combination or simply the wrong medication, the results can be dangerous. It's important to review and discuss your medications with your doctor, at least annually to ensure your medications remain needed, appropriate and safe.

Download printable checklist

medication-iconMedication Checklist

Medication Name Dosage Times / Frequency How is Medication Taken Why is Medication Taken How is Medication Stored
Over the Counter Medications (e.g. Advil, Tylenol, Aleve, Motrin, Claritin, Allegra, Robitussin, Dristan, etc...)
Supplements (e.g. vitamin B6, vitamin A, garlic, ginger, ginseng, echinacea, John's wort, etc...)
Medications with Side Effects
Medication Side Effect(s) You Feel
The medication checklist should be reviewed with your doctor annually, any time a new medication is prescribed or a new symptom or discomfort emerges.

medication-iconConsult With Your Doctor

___ Bring a "brown bag" of all your medications & supplements in their original bottles to your doctor.
___ Ask why you're taking each medication and if it's still required.
___ Let your doctor know if you're having trouble managing your medications.
___ Let your doctor know if you're having any side effects from your medications.
___ Let your doctor know if you're having trouble affording your medications.
​___ Let your doctor know if you're feeling dependent (addicted) to any medications.
___ Let your doctor know if you're having trouble filling your prescriptions.

medication-iconMedication Safety Review

___ Keep a list of all the prescription and non-prescription medications (fill out the list above).
___ Are any of the medications you're currently taking on the updated Beer's List (check here)?
___ Are you taking any medications with dangerous interactions (check this site, we found it easy to use)?
___ Notify your primary caregiver of any new medications prescribed.
___ When you get a new prescription filled, ask the pharmacist to review all your medications.
___ Check to ensure the drug, dosage & frequency on bottles match your doctor's original prescription.

medication-iconTaking Medications at Home

___ Keep a list of all medications in an easy to find location for caregivers & emergency responders.
___ Leave a list of all the prescription and non-prescription medications you're taking with a family member.

___ Use a pill box, pill pack, or medication dispenser to ensure your taking medications properly.
___ Use medication reminders to ensure you take your medications when you're supposed to.

Are You High Risk for Medication Issues?

As we age, certain factors can make taking medications more dangerous. If you answer yes to these questions, you should consult with a doctor, caregiver, pharmacist or family member to determine if and how you can receive help taking your medications:

  1. Do you live alone?

  2. Do you have any memory or cognitive challenges?

  3. Do you have poor vision or difficulty seeing your medications?

  4. Do you have arthritis, or numbness in your fingertips, making it difficult to handle your medications?

  5. Do you take more than 3 prescription or over the counter medications daily?

  6. Do you get prescribed medications from more than one doctor?

  7. Do you fill your prescriptions at more than one pharmacy?