Centuries ago, spring cleaning was done to remove the soot and grime that had built up from using kerosene lamps, candles and wood stoves throughout the winter. Modern technology and electricity has spared your home of sooty grime, but the tradition of spring cleaning has continued. For the elderly, spring cleaning is the perfect time to re-organize and make sure the home is safe and free from clutter that may lead to falls.
If you are providing senior care for an elderly loved one who is aging at home, these tips will help to ensure your loved ones home is clean and safe:
Pantry and Refrigerator
The kitchen is typically one of the most used rooms in the home, so it is often the most cluttered. Many seniors are notorious for holding on to items, including food so cleaning the pantry and the refrigerator can prevent your loved one from getting sick from eating expired food.
Remove all of the items from the freezer and refrigerator, check the expiration dates and throw out foods that have expired, have freezer burn or have not been appropriately sealed. Remember to check the expiration dates on condiments, boxed items and canned foods as well. Before putting food items away, thoroughly clean and disinfect the inside and outside of drawers, doors and shelves.
The Medicine Cabinet
Seniors are often prescribed several different medications and medications are frequently changed. To help ensure your loved one doesn't take something that isn't needed or that has expired:
- Remove all medications from the cabinet (remember to check the refrigerator as well)
- Take an inventory of all their current medications
- Check the expiration dates on all medications, including over-the-counter medicines
- Dispose of any medications that they are no longer required to take and that have expired
- Update the medication list
- Store current medications in the appropriate place
Get Rid of the Clutter
Seniors who accumulate things, such as newspapers, books, crafts and magazines have a higher risk of tripping and falling. When it comes to senior care for a loved one, it is important to make sure they have a safe environment. Reduce the risk of potential falls and injuries by removing unnecessary and obstructive items, including furniture that is in the regular walking path.
It is essential to have a clear walkway in each room, so if there are large items that pose a risk of tripping or falling, consider placing them in storage. Tape area rugs and the edges of carpets to the floor to prevent them from bunching or rolling, which can lead to falls.
Once all of the clutter has been removed, give the house a thorough cleaning, including removing cobwebs and wiping down the walls.
Alarms, Detectors and Extinguishers
Check all of the carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers to ensure they are working correctly. Replace the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. If there are fire extinguishers, make sure to check the date and replace any that are more than ten years old. If there are no fire extinguishers, consider placing one in the kitchen for additional safety.
Spring cleaning can be an overwhelming and time-consuming task, especially if your elderly loved one likes to hold on to stuff. However, it is important to keep in mind that making a seniors home clean and safe is beneficial for their health and well-being, especially if they live alone.
If the senior is unable to do daily housekeeping chores without assistance, consider hiring a home care provider. Home care providers are available to assist seniors with a variety of tasks, including household chores and monitoring their safety, which can help to reduce the stress of worrying about your loved ones safety.
To learn more, contact a company like ComForcare Home Care - South Orange County with any questions you have.