With spring in the air, we can now look forward to one of the season’s best practices – spring cleaning!
Spring cleaning presents the opportunity to shed the memories of winter by cleaning, organizing, and generally refreshing the home. However, spring cleaning is often an arduous process, especially for seniors, so it’s always important to take the time to do things safely. Check out these spring cleaning safety tips for seniors:
Check Medicines and Prescriptions
Perhaps one of the most overlooked risks for seniors is poor medication management. Most seniors accumulate additional medicine and prescriptions throughout the winter, so be sure to check up on these to sure everything is safe.
For instance, check the medicine cabinet and check if there are any older prescriptions accidentally mixed together with newer prescriptions and if any have passed their expiration dates. Keep an eye out for liquid medicines and anything using natural ingredients, as these have shorter shelf lives so may need disposed of.
Remember, medicine should be stored in cool, dark conditions – an airtight container stored in a cabinet is often best for this!
Remove all Clutter
Another huge risk for seniors is tripping and falling, so always make sure their home is free from clutter. Go through each room and look for notable risks, particularly obstructive objects, and either throw them out or store them in a safer location.
Always aim to have clear walking pathways for seniors in their homes. Every room should have a safe walking space, even if you need to move or get rid of larger furnishings – safety always takes precedence!
Kitchens can be especially problematic areas, so try to go through cabinets and organize the clutter, while removing anything that’s rarely used but still taking up counterspace.
Always Assist with Lifting and Carrying
For seniors with mobility issues, it’s important they don’t attempt to lift or carry anything on their own. Even if they believe it’s easy enough to move, never take the risk – always help lift and carry objects during a spring clean.
Ensure they don’t attempt to move heavy furniture on their own, while be mindful of the dangers of using ladders and chairs for cleaning those areas that are difficult to reach. If possible, use lightweight and cordless cleaning appliances, as these are generally easier to maneuver.
Inspect Safety Devices
Take the time to inspect all safety devices in the home, especially smoke alarms. Check if batteries need replaced, whether the alarm is still operating, and even consider upgrading to a newer device and adding some new safety devices.
For example, most homes should have at least two fire extinguishers for emergencies, while a fire blanket may also be a worthwhile investment. Should there already be extinguishers, check expiration dates to ensure they are still capable of use.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
It may also be worth putting together an emergency preparedness kit, which can be invaluable during natural disasters or other emergency situations.
This should be a basic emergency kit featuring items like a flashlight, batteries, candles, thermometer, scissors, spare medicine, antibiotic ointment, bandages, dressings and band-aids, along with emergency contact details and medical information.