April is nearly here, and the cold winter is on its way out. It’s getting warmer and the sun is shining brighter. The days are longer, and the mood is lighter.
Spring is in full swing, so grab your duster, mop and spray bottle – it’s time for spring cleaning.
While people of all age groups will be tidying up this month, it’s especially beneficial for seniors to take part in spring cleaning. More than that – it’s especially beneficial for them to heavily consider the positives that can come from regular decluttering and cleaning of the space around them.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a task that seniors take on alone. They can involve family and friends, with everyone pitching in to ensure their loved ones have a safe, comfortable space they can call home.
Here are some of the benefits of spring cleaning.
Decreased injury risk
Each year, hospital bills from falls total in the tens of billions of dollars. That total may seem staggering, but the reality of falls is that they are far more common than you think. Each year, they lead to the hospitalization of more than 800,000 people and three million visits to the emergency room.
More than 75 percent of these falls occur in the home, where hazards include uneven steps or carpeting, slippery floors and stairs without handrails, among others. Seniors are at a greater risk of falling, and injury, because their bones tend to be more brittle, an effect of aging, their muscles tend to be less strong, and medicines sometimes cause balance issues.
Therefore, reducing clutter can lead to a safer living space – one in which there is a lessened risk of falling and thereby a lesser risk of injury. When looking to declutter, it’s important to make sure the ground is clear, without any items at foot level that could be difficult to see. Furthermore, it’s important to make sure spaces with less lighting are clear as well, and that heavily trafficked areas and paths are clear of clutter.
If certain items need to be kept but there is no space for them, consider renting a storage unit, as additional storage space means a cleaner, less cluttered living area.
Increased mental health
Do you ever look around after you’ve cleaned and feel a sense of happiness, as if everything is in order and your living space looks perfect? If so, you’re not the only person to have experienced that feeling. Studies have consistently shown that clean living spaces are linked to better mental health and an overall feeling of wellness, while cluttered spaces tend to have a negative effect on well-being.
Clutter can lead to emotions like stress, tension and confusion, while lowering an individual’s ability to focus. Furthermore, it can lead to a sense that you’re not in control.
For some seniors, the effects of aging can limit regular cleaning, slowly increasing the amount of clutter. Nobody is to blame, it’s just something that happens due to our natural aging process, but it can lead to all sorts of negative emotions. Given that we spend so much time in our homes, feeling like you’re not in control of the space can be overwhelming.
That’s why it is very important for seniors to have clean, well-organized living spaces. And there’s no better time to get started than the spring!
Increased opportunities for socialization
When a house or living space becomes messy, people tend to become hesitant to play the role of host. This is a natural feeling, as people want to put on their best outward appearance when in the presence of others, making a good impression in the process. And if a space is cluttered, it may not lend itself to such an impression.
A fresh, clean space is something to be proud of, something to show off. Thus, people with such living spaces tend to love to play the role of host. For seniors, this could mean having your loved ones over or friends over – perhaps even both!
Nonetheless, it leads to more opportunities to socialize and interact, something that’s also very beneficial to mental health.
At Sagora Senior Living, we believe in enhancing independence by assisting residents with the tasks of daily life. At our communities, we promote independence and wellness by building the foundation for an active, social lifestyle.
Many of our 61 communities feature regularly scheduled housekeeping services, making life easier, with more opportunities to do what you want when you want.
To learn more about the Sagora experience, tour your local community today!