April is a perfect month to attack spring cleaning projects at your home or a senior loved one’s. Cleaning the cobwebs from ceiling fans, getting rid of expired foods, and deep cleaning the stove are some tasks it might be time to tackle. A boost in spirit isn’t the only benefit of having a sparkling, tidy house.
We’ll look at rewards that come from helping your family member spring clean and share a list of chores not to overlook.
Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning does more than make your house look nice. Here are a few health benefits that come from an intensive cleanup:
- Decluttering is essential: Purging the clutter that builds up over the winter lightens your mental load and provides clarity. It can also reduce the risk for falls, a leading cause of injury in older adults.
- Getting rid of allergens: Cleaning the house of dust and particles can help prevent allergies, asthma, and respiratory illnesses from flaring up.
- Finding peace: Getting your house in order can reduce stress and help you find peace. Chronic stress is linked to a variety of medical conditions ranging from high blood pressure to depression and digestive issues.
If you aren’t sure how and where to start, this checklist will be of interest.
Room-by-Room Spring Cleaning Tips for Seniors and Caregivers
The kitchen is one of the most heavily utilized rooms in a home. The constant use can make it harder to keep clean. Take time this spring to do the following chores:
- Wipe the cabinets down inside and out. Change shelf paper, if necessary.
- Take everything out of the refrigerator and freezer and wipe them down. Check expiration dates on condiments, dressings, and other items.
- Inspect and clean the oven with a fume-free oven cleaner that won’t aggravate allergies or respiratory problems.
- Check the exhaust system on the range to see if it needs cleaning. It’s an important step for reducing the risk of fire.
- Empty the pantry and wipe down the shelves and floor. Dispose of items that are expired and donate foods that are good but likely won’t be used.
While most of us clean the bathroom regularly, it also needs a little extra attention a few times each year.
- Change the shower liner and wash the curtain. Do the same with decorative towels.
- Scrub the bathtub and shower and replace the bath mat, if necessary.
- Sort through the medicine cabinet and safely dispose of no-longer-used or expired medications. Check with your pharmacy for advice on where and how to dispose of prescription medications.
- Clean out the linen closet and donate older linens (especially towels) to a local animal shelter or veterinarian’s office.
- Deep clean the toilet and the floor surrounding it. Replace or tighten the bolts on the toilet seat if it doesn’t seem secure.
Give the senior’s bedroom extra attention this spring by doing the following:
- Wash the curtains, bedding, blankets, mattress cover, and rugs.
- Find a strong helper to help you flip or turn the mattress and box spring. Wipe both down along with the bed frame.
- Use products specifically designed for cleaning miniblinds to remove dust and grime.
- Use spring cleaning as an excuse to encourage your senior loved one to sort through their clothes and to donate items they no longer wear.
Books, magazines, newspapers, junk mail, and other clutter can quickly build up in living rooms. Make sure to declutter the room before you start deep cleaning. Box up items you need to drop off at your local recycling center.
Then tackle the following tasks:
- Dust the woodwork and wipe down the window frames.
- Use a long-handled duster to clean ceiling fans and lighting fixtures.
- Use a static-free cloth to lightly swipe over the television and other electronics.
- Vacuum under the sofa, as well as over and under sofa cushions.
Should time permit, you might also want to clean out the garage, attic, or shed. It will make downsizing easier should your loved one decide to move to a smaller home or a senior living community.
Is It Time for Senior Living?
As you and your loved one work your way through their house, use the time to discuss how happy they are with their current living environment. Is it getting to be too much for them? Do they feel isolated and lonely? Your family member might be struggling more than you realize. Encourage them to be honest and let them know you can work together to find a solution, such as home care services or a local senior living community.
For older adults in Michigan and Indiana, exploring one of the local Heritage Senior Living communities might be helpful. Call the nearest location with any questions you have or to schedule a tour and lunch at your convenience!