Spring Cleaning Safety Tips for Seniors

Boston Home care Nothing says spring quite like spring cleaning. As the weather grows warmer and the days go longer, we sometimes can’t help that deep-seated urge to refresh our space after a long winter spent indoors.

When we get older or as our loved ones age and fall further under our care, spring cleaning becomes even more important. Keeping a healthy, sanitary space that’s free of clutter and that poses less risk for injury or falls is key to keeping our homes a great place to live. Plus, everyone deserves a clean and comfortable space to relax in, especially with the added stress of taking care of others.

However, as we age and our mobility, strength, Boston Home care and vision start to decline, spring cleaning can become more of a daunting event than just a yearly chore. So, we’ve collected a few spring cleaning tips for seniors and those who take on the important responsibility of caring for them that can help make their spring cleaning a safer experience.

Gloves and cleaning rag

  1. Avoid Lifting or Moving Heavy Items

If you’ve got an itch to vacuum the hard-to-reach crannies behind the fridge or capture those dust bunnies under the couch, get a helping hand. Trying to move furniture or boxes can cause muscle strain and joint damage, which could not only bring your spring deep clean to a halt but could leave you achy and out of commission for days – or even severely injured. Instead of lifting, pulling, or pushing heavy items, try to use dollies, wheels, or straps to lighten the load. Even asking for a helping hand or two can drastically decrease your chances of hurting yourself. If you do injure yourself, make sure to rest and consult a doctor for care instructions.

  1. Use Chemicals Safely

We may not realize it, but with hundreds of different cleaners on the shelves in the grocery store, our homes can become as dangerous as chemistry labs. Think of how many different chemicals you’re using in your bathroom alone. Many of us may not understand the dangerous reactions that can occur when mixing cleaners. For example, bleach and your standard toilet bowl cleaner can create chlorine gas which burns the respiratory system and is incredibly toxic. As we’ve brought in more disinfectants and cleaners as a result of the pandemic, make sure to be extra careful about chemicals in the house. Opt for multi-purpose cleaners to minimize accidental concoctions.

Also, when it comes to using chemicals, make sure to always wear gloves to reduce the contact they make with your skin. Nearly all cleansers can irritate or damage our skin and eyes and can even cling and linger on clothes, hair, and rags.

Even when you’re not using them, household cleansers can be dangerous. For instance, did you know that aerosol cans can explode when exposed to heat? Follow label instructions when storing your cleaning supplies.

  1. Store Supplies Within Reach

Speaking of storing supplies, there never seems to be a good place to keep your cleaners, rags, brooms and whatever else you may need, especially when they’re grimy and unsightly. So they often get chucked in high cabinets and under sinks. However, when it becomes a little more difficult for us to move around, getting to these places can pose dangers. Think of trying to pull out that steam cleaner that’s been jammed in the hall closet. It’s easier than you’d think to injure yourself before the cleaning even begins.

  1. Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinets

When you’re not feeling well, there’s nothing better than having a box of medicine at the ready, Boston Home care meaning you won’t have to run to the pharmacy. And after years of poison ivy, headaches, allergies, and whatever other ailments we’ve equipped ourselves for, our medicine cabinets can become their own kind of Frankenstein pharmacy – and that includes the horrors that come with it.

When you’re spring cleaning, take a look at your medicine cupboard and throw away any expired medications. Take note of what needs to be replaced and organize what’s left, so you can easily grab relief when you need it.

  1. Downsize, Declutter, and Organize

Sometimes, the most important part of spring cleaning has nothing to do with scrubbing and soap. Sometimes the best thing you can do to keep your home safe and comfy is to get rid of unnecessary clutter. That year’s worth of junk mail that’s been piling up isn’t getting any smaller. Not only can it make your kitchen counter feel claustrophobic it could be posing a fire safety risk. Take some time before getting down to the nitty gritty to make sure everything has a home, is easy to get to, and is out of the way.

Plus, as we get older, it’s time to start thinking about our next step in life. For many, this may mean moving to an assisted living facility or moving in with adult children. After long lives, we’ve acquired years of belongings. Some items, like photo albums are to be cherished, others, like that second and third colander, could probably find a new home. So, when you think about spring cleaning also think about downsizing to prepare for that next stage of your life. Find safe-keeping places for cherished memories and new homes for items that don’t have a use anymore. Did someone say yard sale?

decluttering home

  1. Run Through a Safety Checklist

Do you know where your fire extinguisher is? If so, do you know that it’s in working condition? We often overlook essential safety precautions until it’s too late. When you’re spring cleaning, make a list of everything that needs checking. This includes smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, emergency water, flashlights, batteries, etc. If you need to know what to look for and be prepared for the unique conditions where you live, check out your local emergency department’s website for information.

You’ll also need to check your appliances, furnace and air conditioning, and any other home improvement items that could affect the comfortability of your living space.

Once you’ve hit all the basic safety checks, think about any quick improvements you can make to your home so it’s safer for you. Could you put down more rugs for better traction? What about a step stool in the kitchen or a handrail in the bathroom. Do what you can to make your space more accessible, so you can maintain your independence for longer.

  1. Bring in Reinforcements

We get it. When it’s time for spring cleaning, it’s usually because our homes need it. And, especially when we age, it can be harder to keep up with a regular deep cleaning schedule. Bringing other into your home when you’re cleaning can seem like an embarrassing nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. Give some friends or family a ring and turn cleaning into an enjoyable social experience. Or, hire a professional service that you can trust to do a fantastic job. Not to mention, they probably seen way worse messes than anything you can throw at them. When you hire out your chores, you get to sit back and relax.

It’s also important, even if you’re not calling for back-up, to let someone know that you’re embarking on your annual deep clean. This trusted friend or family member can check in on you to see if you need a break for lunch or lemonade and, more importantly, can be there if something does go awry. From falls to heatstroke, it’s a good idea to have someone looking out for you.

  1. Don’t Make it a Marathon

At first, getting up bright and early and spending the day knocking out your entire spring cleaning to-do list may seem like a plan, but deep cleaning and organizing is tough physical and emotional work. Go easy on yourself, it’s not a race. Pick a few priority tasks or areas to focus on rather than trying to get it done all in one day. Your body will definitely thank you.
Marathon Cleaning Safety
Get a Helping Hand

Regardless of what’s on your list for your spring cleaning, make sure it’s done safely. That way you can enjoy the fruits of your labor and continue to lead a healthy and happy life at home. If keeping up with home maintenance is getting overwhelming with your age or as you care for older loved ones, know that there are resources available. At Foundational Home Care, our care providers are educated in and enthusiastic about the health and safety of your living space. Whether your family could benefit from personal, companion, or live-in care, you can always ensure your needs are met – and with a smile. Schedule a consultation to see how Foundational Home Care can support you and your loved ones today.

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