Helping your Aging Parent with Spring Cleaning

Why do we commonly associate a big cleanup of our homes with the season of spring?  Longer daylight hours and the warmer weather certainly make the task far more pleasant.  Spring is also associated with renewal and freshness, so it does make a bit of sense.

A yearly cleanup is a great idea, especially in the homes of elderly people.  Things that they use every day can be easier to find, and a big tidy-up can greatly reduce the risk of injury from a fall.

Cleaning someone else’s house can often present greater challenges than cleaning your own.  Making decisions about what to keep and what to throw away during spring cleaning can certainly be difficult.  What may look like useless clutter can have precious memories attached to it, so it is always important to include your loved one in the final decisions.

Always Best Care provides home care in Hartford, Tolland & Middlesex Counties, and our Caregivers recommend the following tips when decluttering your loved one’s home:

Start Off Small

Don’t try to declutter the whole house all at once.  Break the project down into smaller tasks.  Start cleaning on a room-by-room basis; you can even break it down further by focusing on individual closets, counters or floor space.

Breaking jobs up into smaller parts not only makes the overall task easier for you; it is also less overwhelming for your loved one, who may have to make difficult decisions about items to discard.

Pass Items on to Relatives

Not every item you come across is going to have a practical use.  Some may have sentimental value.  Some items may be important for your senior to keep.

Not everything has to be thrown away.  Ask other relatives if they will keep items safe for your loved one.  It may be easier to persuade him or her to declutter the house if he or she knows that treasured items are still accessible.

Hire a Professional

Sometimes the job can be so overwhelming that you may truly not know where to start or if something is worth keeping or passing on.  Some families may already be up to their ears in their own stuff and cannot imagine acquiring more items in their home and they are hesitant to take items from the clean out.  If that is the case there are many professional companies that can come in to help you declutter, toss out what is not needed such as broken or out of date items that pose a safety concern.  These companies also can find new loving homes for items that are still in good condition.  Often times most elderly people just want to be sure that items are not wasted if they can be used again and a new home can be found.  Whether it is a charitable organization or a family in need.

Be Safe

Remember that making the home a safe place to live is the overall objective of this task.  Undertaking a large cleanup may reveal hazards that weren’t obvious before, such as broken furniture or damaged appliances.  Ensure that these items are fixed or replaced immediately.

A regular in-home Caregiver can make sure that your loved one’s home remains hazard-free.  Call Always Best Care for a free consultation.

Posted In: home care