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Are You Storing Your Parent’s Insulin Correctly?

November 25, 2019

When an elderly parent has diabetes, family caregivers often take on the task of managing their medications. For many caregivers, that means dealing with insulin. Insulin can be a little tricky to store because when it isn’t kept properly, it can lose effectiveness. Below are some tips experts recommend for ensuring your parent’s insulin is stored correctly. 


Keep Insulin at the Right Temperature 

Most caregivers pick up more than one month’s worth of insulin at a time. Insulin that will be used in the future should be kept in the refrigerator. The temperature of the refrigerator should be set at between 36- and 46-degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the insulin from freezing. It will degrade and not be as effective at controlling blood sugar. 


Store the Current Bottle at Room Temperature 

Injecting cold insulin into the body can cause your parent pain. To make the daily injections more comfortable, keep the current container of insulin at room temperature. It can be kept at room temperature for about a month without going bad. However, don’t let the insulin get too hot since that can impact its effectiveness. Caregivers should ensure the insulin is kept in a place that will not get warmer than 86 degrees Fahrenheit. It also shouldn’t get colder than 36 degrees. To prevent isnulin from getting too hot, keep it away from sunny spots and sources of heat. Don’t put it in a cupboard near the stove or a heat vent. Insulin should also never be left in the car since the inside temperature of a car can get too hot or too cold very quickly. Insulin should be stored in a dark or dim place, too. Exposure to direct sunlight can make it go bad.  


Check the Expiration Date 

Caregivers should check the expiration date on their parent’s insulin before they use it. Never let your parent use insulin that is beyond its expiration date. Dispose of it and take out a new container. 


Know How Insulin Should Look 

Insulin comes in different varieties that look different. Caregivers should familiarize themselves with how their parent’s insulin should look. Regular insulin should not have particles in it and should not be discolored. It should look clear. NPH insulin is uniformly cloudy when it is good. If you see crystals or “frosting” in the insulin or it seems to have clumps or particles in it, the insulin should not be used.  



If you or your loved one is looking for Home Care or Placement Services in Aptos, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care. 

Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990  

San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777 

Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990 







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