Yes, it’s that time of the year – Cleaning house! Whether your loved one lives in a small apartment or large house, “stuff” accumulates. Spring cleaning is the best time to sort through, donate and throw away to create a fresh, clean, de-cluttered living space.
Involve Your Loved One
Remember to always involve your family member- their possessions are the focus of the cleaning after all. It is important not to overwhelm them. So start off slow, a little at a time, one room at a time. Keep distractions to a minimum.
Spring Cleaning and Sorting
Create different piles- “trash”, “donate”, “keep” and “maybe”. Start with items that cause tripping hazards; piles of books or newspapers. Books can be safely placed in drawers and on shelves. Loose phone and computer cords can be bundled together and placed away from high-traffic areas for a safer environment. The rule of thumb with clothing is if it hasn’t been worn in one year, donate it. Go through closets and drawers with your family member. Sort through worn-out bedding and towels for donations or trash. Big items, such as appliances and furniture can be disposed of if not in use or not working correctly.
Spring Cleaning and Keepsakes
Seniors may be reluctant to give away certain items. Possessions often become a link to their past and a connection to the outside world. If clothing no longer fits or household items are still usable, explain that someone else can benefit from them if you donate them.
Don’t forget the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. Expired foods, juices, and condiments can be harmful to ingest. Seniors often have a hard time seeing the small expiration dates on canned and jarred foods. When in doubt, throw it out!
Spring Cleaning and the Medicine Cabinet
Most importantly, now is a good time to get rid of old medications, prescribed or over the counter. Seniors tend to want to hold on to old medications. Keeping them can cause confusion and mistakes in dosages can be made. Serious harm can be avoided by removing all old medications. Carefully explain to your loved one how important it is to be organized and clear about medications.
Follow your city’s guidelines on how to dispose of prescription drugs safely if you must put them in the regular trash. Household pharmaceutical collection events are often offered by local police precincts or other city agencies. Take advantage of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and takes place twice a year – in April and October. Details can be found in your local newspapers or websites.
Take Your Time
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be such a daunting task if taken slowly and done a little at a time. It can be stressful for some people to get rid of a lot of stuff all at once. Taking small steps towards a decluttered home can be easier to manage for your elderly loved one. You and your loved one will feel so much better when looking around an uncluttered, clean household. Be sure to check in on a regular basis to ensure your loved one does not start to re-accumulate items and to keep their living space neat and clean. Try to clear as much as you can before it gets too hot out. Summer heat is upon us!
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us by clicking here, or call (718)-979-6900.