Spring is the time for refreshing and sparkling. Spring is the time for spring cleaning!
Spring cleaning is especially important for seniors, who might not be able to keep up their regular housecleaning routines as often as they would like. Helping a senior with a big spring clean will not only make their home bright and fresh, it also will give you a chance to spend quality time with them. It might take a weekend or two, but in the end, you will be glad you spent time with your special senior and they will be glad you helped them with what to them appeared an insurmountable task.
Sagora Senior Living communities offer weekly/semi-weekly housekeeping, linen and laundry service for our residents. This helps keep their homes clean and fresh on a regular basis.
Of course, the basics—dusting, vacuuming, washing windows, scrubbing floors and bathrooms must be tackled. But, when cleaning a senior’s home, there are a few things to keep in mind—things you might not consider if cleaning your own house.
1. Be sure to take a good look in the medicine cabinet, and any place else a senior might keep medication. Make sure all current medicine is correctly labeled and stored in a dry, cool place—a closet shelf is a good choice, since a bathroom tends to be humid rather than dry.
Oftentimes, an older person will hold on to medicine far beyond its expiration date “just in case.” Although some drugs will retain their potency past the expiration date, many won’t. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration recommends disposing of medicine in the following manner.
a. Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
b. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag.
c. Throw the container in the household trash.
d. Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it is unreadable, then dispose of the container.
2. Thoroughly clean the refrigerator and freezer and dispose of any expired food—open or not. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to stale food. This includes condiments and dressings. This is also a good opportunity for you to discover what your loved one is eating. And to replenish old food with fresh, healthy choices.
3. Spring is a good time to make sure a senior’s home is a safe place to live. Replace the batteries in all smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure emergency and other important telephone numbers are clearly posted in large letters and numbers near the phone, and another list is posted on the refrigerator. Check the emergency response system to ensure it is working properly and that your senior knows exactly how to use it.
When it comes to ensuring a senior’s home is safe, Sagora Senior Living residents have maintenance associates available right at their fingertips. Twice a year, they routinely change the batteries in apartment smoke alarms for our residents. Associates also will unclog a drain, replace a light bulb, repair a leak—even remove a stain from a resident’s carpet. Maintenance is only a phone call away.
4. Remove any unnecessary clutter, including furniture and throw rugs. Make sure your senior has a clear path to every room in the house and to front and back doors. Special items can be placed in storage, others donated to charity.
This task includes outside clutter, as well. Remove any piles of leaves or wood or dead plants that might attract vermin. If a tree branch looks fragile, it is better to remove it before it causes damage or injury.
When it comes down to it, spring cleaning can turn into a positive family event. Some working inside and others working outside to make your senior’s home as bright and safe as possible. Not to mention the quality time and show of love this gives everyone involved.