Five Spring Cleaning Tasks That Can Make Your Elderly Loved One’s Home Safer


Author: Rokan

Springtime is often associated with new life, rejuvenation, and new beginnings. In many areas of the country, it’s the time of year when the temperature begins to warm up, the flowers and trees once again bloom, and the days become longer, which means more time for fun under the sun.

Spring is also an opportunity to clean, organize, and declutter the home. This act of ‘Spring Cleaning’ isn’t just beneficial for the home. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it can also lift our moods as well because it can make you feel accomplished, improve focus, and even help fend off depression.

More importantly, it’s a chance for family Caregivers to check in on their loved ones who have decided to age in place and ensure their home is clean and safe. Here are five Spring Cleaning tasks that can make your elderly loved one’s home a safer place to live.

  1. CLEAN OUT FRIDGE AND PANTRY OF OLD AND EXPIRED FOOD – It happens to the best of us. You cook a delicious meal for dinner and package up the leftovers and, somehow, they end up in the back of the fridge, forgotten for months, turning into a science experiment. Or perhaps you found a can of beans in your pantry that expired five years ago because you forgot to rotate your stock. (Pro tip: Always use FIFO or first in first out!)

    Expired food in the pantry or leftovers past its prime can be harmful if consumed. According to the FDA Food Code, all perishable foods that are opened or prepared should be thrown out after seven days at the most. Always refer to expiration dates and food safety guidelines to learn how to handle specific foods in your pantry, fridge, and freezer.
     
  2. SEASONAL SAFETY CHECKLIST – On a seasonal basis, it’s a good practice to make sure the fire alarms and CO2 detectors around the house are operational and dust-free. An undercharged, expired, or depressurized portable fire extinguisher is not as effective and can provide a false sense of security in the case of an emergency.

    With the warmer weather comes severe weather. Make sure you know what to do and where to go in case of a tornado, and have flashlights (with working batteries) and candles handy in case the power goes out.
     
  3. CLEAN OUT THE MEDICINE CABINET – There’s no time like the present to organize and get rid of expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines that are collecting dust in your medicine cabinet. Having bottles of old prescriptions lying around the house could be dangerous in the event expired medicine is consumed by someone in the home. It’s also important to store medications in a secure location, out of reach of any children that may be in the home.

    So, what do you do with your old medication? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the best way to dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines is through a drug take-back program.
  1. DEEP CLEAN THE HOUSE, ROOM BY ROOM – During the cold winter months, when there’s less air circulation from outside, dust tends to build up around the house: on the baseboards, ceiling fans, the window curtains, blinds, and even the walls. Occupants of homes with poor indoor air quality may complain of headache, eye irritation, fatigue, dry throat, sinus congestion, dizziness, and nausea. Deep cleaning the house once or twice a year can help improve the air quality around your home.

    Remember, it’s critical to always use caution when working with cleaning products around the house. Always read and follow the instructions for using products, thoroughly wash your hands after using them, and never mix chemicals. If you ingest cleaning products or get them in your eyes, you can reach the National Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
     
  2. CLEAR CLUTTER & TRIP HAZARDS – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are common and costly, especially among Americans aged 65 and older. They’re the leading cause of injury and death in this age group. But the good news is that falls are preventable. Spring Cleaning is a great opportunity to do a safety check around the house and make sure that the home is free of trip hazards and the floor is clutter-free.

For some, the idea of Spring Cleaning the home may seem intimidating. Home Helpers® Home Care is here to help. For over 25 years, we have provided exceptional in-home care for seniors, new moms and families, and those with disabilities, illness, or recovering from injury or surgery. Our exceptional Caregivers can help with light housekeeping, household organizing, and more.

A critical component of our care program is Direct Link® powered by Aloe Care, the most advanced 24-hour monitoring service that enables seniors to stay safer and more connected while remaining in their home or on the go. The Direct Link® unit has the option to show data on the environment, such as room temperature, air quality (VOC/CO2), and ambient light. This allows the family to check in on their loved one’s well-being from the convenience of their mobile device, from anywhere at any time.

We’re here to be a trusted partner in your care needs journey, with a team of compassionate professionals supporting you every step of the way. Our services and care plans are customizable, so you receive just the right amount of care and can be adjusted as needs change.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SERVICES, CONTACT US TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE IN-HOME CARE ASSESSMENT OR FIND AN AGENCY NEAR YOU.

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