Helping Your Aging Parent with Spring Cleaning
Spring will be here before you know it, and with that comes longer daylight hours and warmer weather; a perfect time to clear out the cobwebs, wipe away the dust, and de-clutter. Spring cleaning is not only a great way to stay organized, but for seniors, it can reduce the risk of injury and falls from clutter and make items easier to find. Also, if your loved one should need to transition to a senior living facility in the future, there are fewer belongings to sort through.
Cleaning the home and deciding which items to keep and which to donate or throw away can be tough for seniors. Their home holds a lot of memories. This is one reason why you don’t want to clean without getting them involved. While this can make the process a little longer, it gives them the opportunity to decide what stays and what goes – with some help of course.
Pick one or two areas to tackle at a time, not the whole house in a day. Give your aging parents things to do that are safe and within their abilities, such as wiping down counters, wrapping up winter decorations for storage, or sorting shoes by finding matching pairs. Breaking down large tasks into smaller parts can also be less overwhelming.
If there is simply too much stuff for the space available, it’s time to cut back. Your aging parent doesn’t need eight flower vases that are all similar. Ask them to pick out one or two that they want to keep. They will probably have stories about different items, so listen and share in their memories, but also stay focused. Talk about donating extra items to those in need and how much it would help others.
Often seniors have trouble getting rid of things because of the memories they hold. It’s not necessarily the object that is important, but rather what it stands for. Keep the items that are most meaningful, but take pictures of the rest. The actual item can be donated, but your loved one can still look back on a picture of it to reminisce.
Pass it Down
Another option for reducing clutter while still cherishing memories is to pass down meaningful mementos to others in the family. Perhaps a favorite serving platter, piece of jewelry, blanket, or other items could be given to others so they still stay in the family but aren’t cluttering up your senior’s home.
Remove Safety Hazards
While spring cleaning, make sure to get rid of any expired foods or medications. Also, do a sweep through the home looking for damaged furniture, broken appliances, loose railings, burned out lights, or anything else that could pose a danger. Fix, replace, or remove these problems. The more frequently you clean, the less issues there are to deal with at once and the more organized you can help your aging parent stay.
An in-home caregiver from Always Best Care can also assist with various tasks. They can help your loved one with light cleaning, sorting and organizing belongings, putting away groceries and preparing meals, reminding about medications, and much more. This can give the family more time to focus on paring down other belongings and enjoying time spent together doing other things.
To learn more about how Always Best Care can support your aging parent and schedule a free consultation, contact us at (855) 470-2273.