You may not have been able to go over to your parent’s place in a while, especially this past year. The next time you are over there, you may want to do a sweep of their medicine cabinet to ensure that there is no expired medications in there. You also may want to take a quick photo of everything that is current, just so you have it for your records with the doses, doctors and everything.
I know for my mother she would hang on to everything and the only time she got rid of something was when I was over and would throw it out for her. At least a third of the items would be expired!
One thing my aunt would do every time she would get anything, be it canned goods, or ointment, she would get out a sharpie and write the expiration date on the item very clearly, so you would not have to squint to look for it. This would be great if you could do this for your parents if they are not already doing this. One day you can label their items clearly so they can immediately see if it’s expired or not.
Once you have collected the expired medications, see if there is a readily available “drug take back day” in your area. Alternatively, local clinics may take these and be able to dispose of them.
If you will be throwing them out yourself, remove them from the original containers and be sure to take off your personal information.
Mix the pills with something like coffee grounds/dirt/or something similar so that pets or potentially someone looking for drugs will not likely find them or use them in this state. Then throw them out.
Please check on where to throw out inhalers as they could be flammable.
Finally, it’s not advisable to flush medications down the toilet.