Today, modern technologies and electricity have spared us the dirty hard work, but the ongoing tradition of spring cleaning lingers. It’s an especially important and sometimes stressful chore done in homes where seniors may no longer be able to keep up with regular housekeeping chores.
HarborChase is a senior living community that cares about the needs of our residents. We want to share six tips with you and the senior of your life that you can utilize to make the spring cleaning process easier this year and the years to come!
1. Plan It Out
The first thing you should always do is make a plan. Go through the home and make a checklist of every task that needs completing, so nothing gets forgotten. Duties may include cleaning the shower, wiping out the refrigerator, or dusting the curtains. Be sure to keep safety in mind, if your loved one has heavy objects that need to move, or hazardous materials to be handled, plan to have people there qualified enough to handle it safely. Never let your loved one attempt to move something potentially dangerous on their own!
2. Keep Your Loved One Involved
It’s important to keep the senior of your life feeling useful. Sometimes your loved one may not be as mobile and have certain limitations. Keep them involved, hand mom or dad a stack of papers to go through, or books to organize, anything to not let them feel left out. You don’t want the senior of your life feeling like they are losing all of their independence.
3. Clear Walkways
Seniors can accumulate a lifetime of belongings that may clutter the home and walkways, even makes it difficult to clean, and can create an unsafe living environment. Trips and falls are likely to happen with excessive clutter; remove hazardous objects blocking pathways and consider moving them into storage. Seniors clutter for a reason, talk to them and learn why your loved one is keeping certain things, you wouldn’t want to get trash happy and end up throwing something away that meant the world to them.
4. Monitor the Emergency Systems
Always check the batteries in the smoke/carbon monoxide monitors along with testing them to ensure they are working correctly. Emergency kits should be evaluated refilled frequently, and placed in the correct spots. Every day emergency items include a First Aid Kit, flashlight and batteries, non-perishable foods, antibiotics, and a list of names and numbers to contact in an emergency. Every home should have two fire extinguishers with always one in the kitchen.
5. Check the Medicine Cabinet
Are medications in the right place and labeled correctly? Old and new prescriptions mixed in together? Medications should be adequately handled and could be hazardous if they are not. Whereas some medications maintain their use after expiration, many do not and should be disposed of correctly.
Be sure to do some research on how to properly dispose of medication. Instead of just throwing them in the trash, use a method that is convenient and safe for you to start clearing the room and making it safe the senior in your life!
6. Schedule It
Just as with an important outing or a doctor appointment, block off time in your schedule so that you can devote to spring cleaning. You and your loved one may want to knock everything out in one weekend, or you may want to take it one chore at a time over several weeks, doing step by step when you have time. Whatever you choose, work at a pace that is comfortable and convenient for everyone involved. Either way, it’s time well spent with the senior of your life!
HarborChase Senior Living offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care services throughout the United States. For more information on our services, or on senior health and wellness, visit our blog!