Spring Cleaning Safety Tips for Seniors
There’s nothing quite like the sunny weather to motivate us to get organized this spring, and to help you get started, here’s our top five spring cleaning safety tips for seniors:
- Take your time. Set plenty of time aside to do some spring cleaning. The key is finding a balance: don’t let tasks drag on, but don’t feel like you have to get everything done in one weekend, either.
- Check the fridge and medicine cabinet. Although they are easy to overlook, both the refrigerator and medicine cabinets can be hotspots for expired products. Be sure to throw away all expired food items and medications, especially those that are no longer prescribed to you.
- Double-check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are easy to ignore until there’s an emergency. Make sure that there are fresh batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Prep for emergencies. It’s a good idea to go over what to do in case of an emergency, such as a power outage or a house fire, every spring to help keep the plan fresh in your mind.
- Make it fun! Enlist the help of your children, grandchildren or friends to add a social component. Not only can they help you move heavy objects and furniture, but they can also make tasks seem less tedious and more fun.
Fall-proofing Your Home
While spring cleaning, it’s important that you check your home for anything that may be increasing your risk of falling. A startling 60 percent of falls happen within the home, but luckily, many of these falls can be prevented by fall-proofing your home:
- Clear out the clutter. Especially after being cooped up during the long winter months, there could be a lot of overlooked clutter in your home. Clear each room of clutter or anything else that could trip you, such as electrical cords and area rugs. Consider doubling your space by adding garage racks.
- Add safety supports. Non-slip mats are probably the easiest and most affordable way to reduce your risk of falls, especially in the bathroom where most in-home falls occur. A kitchen is another great place to have these mats in case any water gets onto the slippery floor.
- Check your stairs for safety. If you cannot have all the essential rooms on a single floor, attach non-slip treads to each step in your home and add sturdy handrails so you have plenty of support when going up and down the stairs.
- Refurbish furniture and flooring. Replace any unsteady furniture and rearrange the layout of each room so that you can easily move around your home. Make sure that all the floors are even and that carpets are securely attached to the floor.
- Improve lighting. Dim lighting greatly increases your risk of falling, so replace dim bulbs with brighter, more efficient bulbs. It’s also a good idea to add nightlights to the hallways so you can safely move around your home during the night.
It’s important to remember that spring cleaning isn’t just about cleaning. Just follow these tips and your home will be both clean and safe in no time!