Here at The Oldish, we’ve frequently stressed the importance of keeping a current list of all medications and health conditions posted visibly in the homes of older adults in case of an emergency, but a new system developed in British Columbia makes the process simpler and more consistent for seniors and first responders.
The Blue Bottle Program, recently implemented through the Seniors Activity Centre in Williams Lake, British Columbia, helps prepare seniors for medical emergencies and is hoped to save many lives. Seniors are given a blue bottle, similar to a medication container, with a medical information sheet to fill out and place inside the bottle. Older adults list any prescriptions medications they take, a medical history and any allergies they may have. The bottle is then placed in the refrigerator where paramedics or other first responders will know where to look for this important information.
The blue bottle program was funded with a federal grant under the New Horizons program which provides money for projects that promote volunteerism, mentoring, elder abuse awareness and social participation among Canadian seniors. The number of seniors in Canada is expected to reach 10 million by 2036; programs like New Horizons help seniors remain engaged in their communities while aging more safely in place.
Many communities have initiatives similar to the Blue Bottle program but for those that don’t, seniors can access The Oldish Medication Checklist, found under the Toolkit tab on our homepage. By joining The Oldish, free of charge, families can share important information including a list of prescriptions (or supplements), home safety checklists and other important documents. The medication checklist can be printed out for doctor appointments as well as be posted to the inside of a medicine cabinet or on the refrigerator where paramedics can find it quickly in case of a medical emergency.