While the spring and summer months bring with them the joy of warmer weather and lots of sunshine, they also bring the tradition of spring cleaning. For seniors, this process can be more difficult. Chances are they’ll need some assistance with spring cleaning from you or a caregiver. To help with the process, consider this checklist for seniors.
Checklist for Seniors’ Spring Cleaning
- Curtains – It’s time to take down the curtains and give them a good wash. This is especially true for those seniors who have respiratory and breathing issues since curtains tend to gather dust and other allergens. Consider lighter curtains in the summer or even thermal curtains that can help reduce the amount of heat that comes into the home through windows.
- Clothing – It makes a lot of sense to pack away winter clothing and get out lighter clothing for the summer months. This means less clutter and less difficulty finding appropriate clothing for getting dressed each morning. This clothing should be arranged in such a way that makes sense for the senior so it is easy to find and access.
Keep in mind, however, that it is usually wise to keep a couple of sweaters out and at-the-ready, as older adults tend to get chilly even when it is warm out or in air conditioned buildings. In fact, it is a biological fact that seniors can’t deal with the cold as well as younger people can.
- General de-cluttering – Spring is a great time to throw out what you’re no longer using or what is out of date. Take this time to go through your loved one’s refrigerator and pantry to check for out of date food. Don’t forget that even canned food has an expiration date. To avoid having your loved one eating spoiled food, take note of these dates and discard these products — and replace them with fresh ones with a trip to the grocery store.
Magazines and newspapers have a tendency to pile up, too. Sort through those periodicals and get rid of any that aren’t needed. Keep in mind that things that get stacked and piled can become a hazard to seniors with mobility and balance issues.
- Gardening – One of the great joys of spring are the flowers and plants. Spend some time with your loved one to find out what types of flowers — or garden veggies — they might like planted around their home. If they enjoy gardening, this is a great way to spend some quality time together and gain a sense of accomplishment when the job is done.
There’s nothing quite like throwing open the windows and airing out the house after a long winter, but the other tasks that come with spring cleaning take a little more effort. While it’s true that your older loved one may need some help in this area, you still want to make sure they are part of the process.
The worst thing you can do is just do it for them. You want to keep in mind that it is still their home, and they should be the decision maker when it comes time to decide what to keep, what to throw away, and where things should go.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a job to dread. With a little help from a family member or a home care service provider, you can get your spring cleaning done quickly and enjoy the process, too.
Do you have any tips for spring cleaning that you’d like to share with readers? Please let us know in the comments below!