There’s something about spring that makes people want to tidy up their home, get rid of unwanted and unneeded items that will improve home safety for seniors, and enjoy the coming spring and summer season.
Perhaps that’s a good time to broach the subject of getting rid of some things in your elderly family member’s home. For some older adults, the need to “hang onto” things means a build-up of stuff; for others, issues of mobility and lifting items may make it difficult to routinely get rid of unneeded things.
Bring the subject us with a friendly “If you get an itch that it’s time for some spring cleaning, I can help you with getting rid of any items you’d like, or some clean-ups like sweep the porch or wash some windows. What do you think?”
If the senior adult is willing, help locate and box up those items, separating those that can be donated to a non-profit and those that need to be disposed of. Many seniors receive dozens of magazines in the mail that quickly accumulate; old makeup or hair products; VHS tapes and other old formats; even old kitchen gadgets may be items the senior would love to have out of their home.
Check the pantry and refrigerator for outdated food items, as well as expired medications. If there is an excess of plastic grocery bags, those might be an item some non-profits (particularly food pantries or shops that sell used clothing or household items) would take. With more and more deliveries made to homes, is there a stockpile of cardboard boxes? Remember, many of today’s seniors were born in the Great Depression and lived through the shortages of World War II, so have the mindset of saving any item that might be useful in the future.
Spring cleaning is also a good time to wash the windows and patio doors, so the view from indoors is clear. Cleaning the patio or porch, or sprucing up the outdoor furniture, may mean your family member would be more interested in sitting outside to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, which also provides some health benefits.
Removing obstacles that can contribute to a fall and removing items that may be collecting dust are small things that can make a senior’s home safer and healthier.
At FootPrints, we know that living in a safe and healthy environment contribute greatly to a senior’s overall wellbeing. Our caregivers help seniors stay in their home once assistance is needed with the activities of daily living such as dressing, showering, meal preparation or toileting, as well as companionship. If we can be help provide senior home care services to you or your family in the greater Albuquerque-Santa Fe region, please give us a call.
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