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Programs About Support JEVS

The Spring Cleaning Guide for Seniors

By Thomas H and Nurse Kim

Spring is here! As flowers bloom and days grow longer, many of us set aside a day or two for spring cleaning. But what does it look like for seniors?

When you think of Spring Cleaning you may think of washing windows, putting away cold-weather clothes, and airing out rooms. But Spring cleaning isn’t just about dusting and scrubbing and polishing. It’s a time-honored ritual that is important for seniors. Spring cleaning is an opportunity for seniors to freshen their homes, but it is also a time to check that essential systems in the home are working properly. Doing these tasks improves their overall health and wellness. Read on to explore why spring cleaning matters for seniors:

Promotes Physical Activity

Many seniors are more sedentary during the colder months. This can lead to stiffness and decreased mobility. Spring cleaning is an opportunity to get moving, stretch muscles, and engage in physical activity, which is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being.

Reduces Allergens

As we age, our immune systems may weaken, making us more susceptible to allergens and airborne irritants. Deep cleaning tasks like dusting, vacuuming, and washing linens can significantly reduce allergens in the home and help protect seniors against respiratory illnesses.

Enhances Safety

Clutter and disorganization can be a major safety hazard for seniors. Clutter increases the risk of trips, falls, and other accidents. By decluttering and organizing their living spaces, seniors can create a safer environment that reduces the likelihood of accidents and injuries.

Boosts Mental Health

An untidy or cluttered home can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety. Spring cleaning can give seniors a sense of accomplishment and control over their environment. This can have a positive impact on mental health and overall well-being.

Prepares for the Future

Regular spring cleaning allows seniors to assess the condition of their homes and address any maintenance or repair needs promptly. By performing an annual check of important systems and appliances, seniors can identify problems before things break, avoiding larger, more expensive issues down the road. Making this check a part of spring cleaning helps seniors maintain a safe and comfortable living environment.

To support seniors, JEVS Care at Home (JCAH) has a dedicated team of caregivers, such as Nurse Kim. Here is her checklist to follow as you spring clean:

  1. Check your medicine cabinet. Remove all expired medications and prescriptions and ones you no longer use.
  2. Check your refrigerator and pantry. Get rid of all food that is expired.
  3. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace all batteries.
  4. Check your fire extinguishers and make sure they read “full”. (Every home should have at least two extinguishers.)
  5. Replace air filters if you have central air/heat.
  6. Replace all broken light bulbs.
  7. Check area rugs for any tripping hazard.
  8. Watch out for electrical cords or phone cords that could be tripping hazards.
  9. Consider installing grab bars in the bathtub, shower, and near the toilet.
  10. Review your emergency plan

If you don’t already have an Emergency Kit, spring cleaning is a perfect time to put one together. Once you’ve assembled your emergency kit, check it in Winter and Spring and replace any items that you have used or that have expired.

Be sure that your emergency kit has these recommended items:

  1. Flashlight and spare batteries
  2. Thermometer
  3. Band-Aids
  4. Scissors
  5. Tape
  6. Triple antibiotic ointment
  7. Wound care dressings
  8. Protein bars/Granola Bar
  9. Current medication list
  10. Emergency contact list that includes the names and phone numbers of family and friends.
Put Safety First

Nurse Kim emphasizes that safety should always come first. If a task feels overwhelming, seek help! Remember these three things before you start your spring cleaning and whenever you are performing tasks around the house:

  1. Never try to move furniture or heavy objects on your own.
  2. Don’t stand on a chair or ladder to clean hard to reach spots or change light bulbs.
  3. Use cordless cleaning tools and lightweight equipment

Remember, JEVS Care at home (JCAH) can help! Our caregivers can assist with many of the tasks you need to complete to keep your home tidy, comfortable, and safe. Our services are available at no cost to qualified Medicaid recipients and eligible veterans. We also work with many long-term insurance plans, and we offer affordable rates for those who must use their own resources to pay for services. Contact us today for more information.

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