Spring Cleaning Tips For Older Adults: How Family And Friends Can Help
Spring cleaning is an important task. It helps to clear out clutter while making sure maintenance tasks are attended to in anticipation of the summer season. It’s an important chore for older adults as it can prevent accidents that prompt the need for nursing home care, but many are unable to complete spring cleaning on their own. The following details ways you can help.
Spring Cleaning Tasks To Prevent Older Adult Falls
Older adults are more at risk for accidents and when they happen, the injuries they suffer are generally more severe. Falls are a particularly common problem. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at-home falls are a leading cause of death among people over the age of 65. Even a seemingly minor fall can end up prompting the need for nursing home care.
Helping older ones with spring cleaning helps to reduce the risks. The CDC offers a convenient spring cleaning checklist, with tasks that include:
- Eliminate clutter: Keep shoes, clothing items, books or magazines, and other types of clutter from blocking entrances and exits, hallways, stairs, and paths between furniture.
- Do repairs as needed: Check for uneven stairs, loose flooring tiles, and torn or frayed carpet edges that could pose trip hazards.
- Make sure there is plenty of lighting: Hallways, stairs, and pathways around all rooms should be adequately lit. Change bulbs and add lighting fixtures or nightlights as needed.
- Place items where they are easy to reach: Go through the kitchen and make sure items older adults use regularly are on lower shelves, eliminating the need for step stools. Make sure spring and summer clothes are within easy reach in closets.
- Address other trip hazards: Eliminate small throw rugs, which are a major trip hazard. Apply non-skid strips to stairs and non-slip mats at entrances instead.
Do A Spring Check-Up Of Important Documents
While helping older adults with spring cleaning, take some time to ensure important asset protection and estate planning documents are in place. This includes:
- A will: Make sure your loved one has a will and that it is updated to reflect any recent changes in finances or family situations.
- Medicaid trust: A Medicaid trust can help protect your loved one’s life savings in the event nursing home care is eventually needed. It can also help ensure they have access to community services that help them live independently.
- Power of attorney: This authorizes someone they trust to manage their finances if they are unable to do so.
- Advance directives: The Institute on Aging advises reviewing advance directives, such as a living will and health care power of attorney.
Let Us Help You Today
At Cavallo & Cavallo, we can help you in caring for older loved ones, making sure they have access to the services they need and that the proper legal documents are in place. To discuss options, contact our Bronx & Westchester Medicaid and nursing home attorneys and request a consultation in our office today.