Does your kitchen look overly equipped with mounting gadgets and appliances? Do you have excess furniture that you do not even use anymore? If your answer is yes to any of those questions, then perhaps it is time to do some spring cleaning. Spring is the season of renewal and many of us take the opportunity to spruce things up by getting rid of junk and re-organizing our space. If you have an aging parent who is living alone and intends to spring clean their home, here are some spring safety tips that you can share with them.
Check Medicine Cabinet
Check if the medications are all properly labeled and stored in their appropriate containers. If there are old prescriptions, do not mix them with the new medications. Some may even have passed their expiry dates which need to be disposed of immediately. These are basic common practices that can prevent putting the lives of your aging parents in danger. Always ensure that medications are stored in a cool, dark, and dry place.
Clean Up Clutter
Older adults are more prone to trips and falls. If your parent’s house has too much clutter, you can help them to remove any unnecessary things that obstruct their path around the house. Help them to maintain a clear walkway so they can get into each and every room of the house with ease and in safety. Rugs and carpets can also be taped down to keep them secure and grounded.
Does your parent have the right emergency contacts on speed dial? In case of a fall, kitchen accident, or attempted burglary, who do they call? Be sure to brief them on the relevant numbers and what are the actions to take should they face an emergency situation. Regardless of how safe they think they can be, accidents can happen to anyone at any particular time. So, get them to always be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances.
Do Not Move Heavy Objects or Furniture
If your elderly parents are not as strong as before or experience mobility issues, do not allow them to move heavy objects or furniture on their own. It is also advisable to avoid any home maintenance works like changing a light bulb or fixing the sink. Climbing the ladder or bending down in an awkward position may cause them to suffer from injuries. If you are not around to help them with these tasks, arrange for a professional to help them out.
Alarm System and Emergency Setup
Always check their alarm system and emergency setup regularly. Equipment like fire extinguishers and first aid kits need to always be replenished or replaced so they are safe for use at all times. If they have smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, check their batteries and replace them if necessary. First aid kits should always contain the basic essentials. If they do not have an emergency kit put together yet, help them build one. Equip it with flashlights, bottled water, ointment, and medications.