You may have been putting it off for a few months (or even a few years), but a good spring cleaning is the perfect excuse to not only wash the windows and dust the shelves, but to take a closer look at how safe the home is for your aging loved one.
We understand that it can be a daunting task to undertake, so keep the following suggestions in mind as you prepare to help your senior with some spring cleaning:
Create a list – It’s easy to get sidetracked during a large clean out like this, so start by creating a list. Jot down areas that need to be addressed and keep in mind that it’s best to tackle the largest task first. Below are a few areas to consider adding to your list:
- Discard any expired medications (prescription and over-the-counter) from the medicine cabinet, including those your loved one is no longer taking.
- Check the pantry and fridge for old, expired food.
- Inspect emergency equipment – replace batteries in smoke detectors, light bulbs, and fire extinguishers.
- Locate and safely store important financial, health, and legal documents.
Put it in the calendar – One way to commit to (and actually finish) spring cleaning is to pencil it in the calendar. Making some time in your schedule, whether you want to pull it off in one weekend or over the course of a few weeks, will ensure that other distractions or events don’t get in the way.
Recruit help – If at all possible, don’t undertake spring cleaning alone. Ask family members or friends to lend a helping hand. In fact, enlisting the help of others can make the process feel more like fun than a chore. Everyone too busy? Take advantage of a professional cleaning service or even a home care service, like ALTRES Medical. We have qualified caregivers that can help with basic needs, including light housekeeping.
Declutter first, clean second – For seniors that have been in one place for many years, it can seem as if they’ve accumulated an endless amount of stuff. Clutter can make it difficult for your loved one to live at home safely, and makes it impossible to get everything cleaned. So instead of jumping straight to sweeping and dusting, confront the clutter first.
Reorganize – It goes without saying that organization is a crucial component to any type of cleaning. However, what made sense five years ago may not continue to be practical or beneficial for your aging loved one. Moving regularly used pantry items to lower shelves or rearranging the furniture to widen walkways are just a few of the many ways reorganization can make living at home not only easier, but safer for your loved one.
As we mentioned, spring cleaning is more than just about cleaning. If you uncover stacks of unpaid bills, piles of laundry, or the home is just unusually dirty, it could be a sign that your loved one could use extra help around the house. Enlisting the help of a caregiver from ALTRES Medical can help your loved one with the “chores” of life and give you the peace of mind you seek.
To find out more about our services, feel free to give us a call at (808) 591-4930.