After a long, cold winter, spring is finally here! While many people take advantage of the change of seasons to get organized and tackle some spring cleaning chores, spring cleaning is also the perfect opportunity for older adults to reevaluate the safety and comfort of their current living situation and start thinking about downsizing. Be sure to include these important tasks on your spring cleaning to-do list this year.
Clear out the fridge and medicine cabinet
Spring cleaning is a great time to address commonly overlooked chores, such as cleaning out your refrigerator, pantry, and medicine cabinet. Carefully check the labels of products in your pantry, fridge, and freezer and throw away any food that has expired. When cleaning out your medicine cabinet, be sure all medications are labeled and stored in sealed containers out of reach from pets and children. Then, safely dispose of any medications that are unused, expired, or no longer prescribed to you.
Prepare for emergencies
It’s easy to forget about checking smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Take the time during your spring cleaning routine to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace any dead batteries. Then, check the expiration date on any handheld fire extinguishers and replace them if necessary. It’s also a good idea to assemble or restock an emergency kit for your home and vehicles, which should include items like flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, an emergency contact list, and a blanket, along with water and non-perishable snacks.
Assess the home for fall hazards
Slips and falls pose dangerous health risks to older adults over the age of 65, but assessing your home for common fall hazards can prevent many accidents. Make sure that rooms and hallways are clear from tripping hazards such as loose area rugs, excess clutter on the floor, or electrical cords across walkways. Dimly lit rooms can also pose a dangerous fall risk. Be certain that all rooms, hallways, and stairways in your home have adequate lighting, and place nightlights in poorly lit areas so you can move around safely in the nighttime.
Evaluate your current living arrangement
For many older adults and their families, spring cleaning offers the chance to begin the downsizing process and start planning to move into a new, smaller residence in a senior living community. In a senior living community, older adults can experience a more relaxing retirement without the pressures of home maintenance or worrying about the safety issues of living alone in a larger home. Ultimately, senior living communities provide older adults with a safer and more secure environment to enjoy their retirement years.