Spring Cleaning for your loved one can be trickier as they become older. It’s an especially important routine in homes where seniors may no longer be able to keep up with regular housekeeping chores. Spring Cleaning can also be an opportunity to evaluate any problems that may have gone unnoticed as well as a time to reevaluate safety concerns around the home.
If your senior loved one’s home could use a good Spring Cleaning, here are five steps to get it done.
1. Check the Medicine Cabinet
Are medications labeled and stored in their proper containers? Are there old prescription drugs mixed in with the new? These common practices in homes pose potentially dangerous health hazards. While some medications retain their potency after expiration dates, many do not and should be disposed of. Old liquid antibiotics, drugs comprised of organic ingredients and those requiring refrigeration should be safely discarded.
Be sure to store medications in a cool, dark, dry place; the bathroom will not do! A better place is an airtight plastic container on a shelf in your closet.
2. Remove the Clutter
Seniors who have accumulated a lifetime of belongings often have so much stuff that it clutters the house and makes it difficult to clean, much less live in safely. Don’t just clean around the piles—tackle them first. Reduce the risk of trips and falls by removing unnecessary and obstructive items from regular walking paths. Make maintaining a clear walkway in every room of the house or apartment a top priority. And either secure throw rugs to the floor or get rid of them entirely.
In the kitchen, remove infrequently used appliances off the counter, organize cabinets, create front row spaces for frequently use items, and clear out the refrigerator and pantry of expired or stale food.
3. Reorganize Before You Cleanse
Once the clutter in the home has been eliminated, you’ll have a fresh slate for cleansing and organizing. For the first task, gather all the important financial, health and legal documents and organize them in one place. This will save time, money and stress in the event of an emergency.
After gathering these critical documents, continue organizing. Make the items used regularly easily accessible, and place items rarely used out of the way. Once the living space is arranged, you can start taking care of the traditional spring cleaning tasks: sanitizing, mopping, vacuuming and dusting.
4. Enlist Help
Make it a family affair. The more the merrier. If you can’t convince family members to lend a hand, consider hiring help. A professional caregiver from Assisting Hands can help with a wide variety of housekeeping tasks such as laundry, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning out the refrigerator and other light housekeeping tasks as well as all the steps listed above.
Replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace light bulbs if necessary to ensure rooms and hallways are adequately lit.
Finally, be sure to address any problems you uncover while cleaning. If you discover your loved one has piles of unpaid bills, expired food in the pantry or hasn’t been cleaning up after the pets, perhaps it’s time for some extra help around the house. A little housekeeping help from an Assisting Hands Caregiver for just a few hours a week can help keep the home clean while offering your loved one companionship and support on a regular basis.
If you or your loved one need a little extra help, contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today at 214-420-1212.