Using Spring Cleaning to help your Elderly Loved Ones
I thought that this would be a great topic to touch on. Spring is clearly in the air. The birds are chirping, and cool breezes flow thru the home. I usually take this time to get my gloves out my mop ready and do a thorough cleaning of my apartment. Of course, there is the old-fashioned spring clean in anyone’s home. Start at the top, cleaning vents, cobwebs, etc. Clean the walls down. Dust pictures and wall art etc. Make sure you change the batteries in the fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector. Once I saw my mom trip on one of their rugs I took it away immediately. You know the drill.
During this time of year, it’s also a great idea to look at your parents living situation. Your aging parents will need to have their home cleaned as well, but they may not be physically capable of doing everything they used to do. You can tell that your loved ones are struggling because the house just doesn’t look as tidy as it used to when you came to visit in the past.
Check out that medicine cabinet. Throw out medicine that your loved one no longer needs. Medication can lose their potency, increase potency, or become contaminated when they sit too long leading to potential problems for your aging parent. You also don’t want medicine around in a cluttered medicine cabinet that will lead to accidentally taking the wrong medication.
Particular attention should be spent on the Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchen and the Garage. I checked their mattress replaced the mattress pad while freshening up their bedding. I did a good cleaning of the bathroom as I saw mildew start to develop. My mom never wanted me to go into her kitchen cabinets when she was well. When our loved ones aged, we noticed that the fridge wasn’t cleaned out. I did. I started by throwing out expired food, throwing out old pantry items, and tackling the freezer as well.
Even though your loved one was handy and fixed cars or lawn mowers, there are probably some old rags and potentially flammable items in the garage. His son-in-law removed all the clutter and hazardous materials no longer in use.
One of the most important ways that you can help your elderly parent when it comes to spring cleaning. Downsizing, yes downsizing you can help your loved one clean out their closet. This can be a daunting task depending on why they would have to downsize. They can be moving in with you, Moving into a smaller house, or a Nursing Home or Senior Care facility if they become ill. This has many emotional implications.
You can start a room by room effort to remove useless objects. Your love may not let go of items; we are the same way at times. One way to do this is to have three boxes set up one for trash, one for storage, and one for donations. If it’s an item that they consider an heirloom have them tell you a story about it, take a picture or a video using that item before you both consider giving it away or donating.
Be thoughtful about how you do this as if it was you that had to downsize. Always involve your elderly loved one in decisions to get rid of things. Having mobility issues or physical limitations can make moving furniture and vacuum cleaners difficult, your loved one can often clean out drawers, go through old papers, polish silver, etc. It can be very upsetting and anxiety producing to have things removed without permission.
So tell me, How was your experience "Spring Cleaning" your loved ones home?