By Jessica Claybrook

I’m going to divulge today and share a personal story about one of my grandmother’s. My family was visiting her on our annual trip down to Arizona where she resided for half of the year to escape the dreary Washington winters and enjoy her community lifestyle in the valley of Mesa with other like-minded retirees.

As we were participating in one of our many helpful chores that awaited us every vacation on grandma’s “to-do list”, my father came across a gallon-sized Ziplock bag that was full of various medication bottles and supplements. Being the concerned and dotting son he is, he asked his mother to sit down and review each medication with him. After a handful of bottles had been explained, she picked one up and said “these are Ray’s, I figured that if I finished them they wouldn’t go to waste!”

…when she said Ray she was referring to her late husband who had passed away earlier that year.

I hope that story was able to give you a chuckle or two. However, in all seriousness, makes me wonder and ask myself “What was the medication she took? Perhaps there were side effects it caused her health down the road?” If someone you love does require a high level of medications, it is best practice to manage them appropriately for everyone’s safety.

As I have the privilege of meeting so many people who’ve lived long and healthy lives into their late nineties as well as surpassed triple digits, I often will ask them what their secrets of success are. The one resounding answer time and time again is “I try to avoid any medications that I do not need”.

I hope that the above has encouraged us all to take a moment out of our day sometime soon to familiarize ourselves with what lies in the medicine cabinet – make sure to check for expiration dates, loose pills and missing labels.

Image courtesy of jk1991 at