With winter on the retreat, it’s time to start giving some thought to spring cleaning. And no, this doesn’t mean things are dirty—it simply means this is the perfect time to take a fresh look at a senior’s home and help them make it as safe as possible. It cuts down on your worry, too!

Winter keeps most of us cooped up inside, the shorter days may also mean we’re less active. Things may not have been put back where they should be. There might be some unintentional hazards to attend to, as well as some general safety issues that you can fix.

The Bathroom

  • If you don’t have them installed yet, it’s high time to invest in inexpensive automatic night lights that can help seniors.
  • Are the rugs and bathmats low profile and non-skid? How about the tub or shower? Low-cost adhesive decals can do the trick.
  • Check to see that the toilet seat is sturdy. You can always replace it with a raised seat. Get help if you plan to install bathroom grab bars. These need to be strong enough to carry a person’s full weight.

The Kitchen

  • It’s not always economically feasible to renovate a kitchen to make it easier for a senior with restricted movement, but you can make sure that frequently used items are moved to the front of drawers and cabinets.
  • Offer to get rid of kitchen items that aren’t used. Less clutter means fewer opportunities for accidents.
  • How are the major appliances doing? There are options to replace knobs and dials that seniors have difficulty turning.

The Bedroom

  • Those automatic nightlights in the bathroom can make a difference in this room, as well. They also make sense in the hallway leading from the bedroom to the bathroom. Motion sensors turn them on and off.
  • Seniors will probably still prefer to have a bedside lamp. Ask them if they find it easy to turn this lap on or off. It might be time find a different one or add an easier way to operate it.
  • Make sure that a reliable phone or medical alert device is easy to reach from the bed.

Other Areas in the Home

  • Springtime is a good time to do a general check of every room and clear the hallways or main floorspaces of any unnecessary tripping hazards. At the same time, examine all furniture for signs of damage. If it’s wobbly and can’t be fixed, get rid of it.
  • Electrical cords are easy tripping hazards. Move them to room edges, or use adhesive mats to secure them.
  • It’s convenient to do it before they start beeping at you. Go ahead and replace the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Then, check the date on the fire extinguishers and make sure it’s easily accessible for a senior who may have problems with mobility.
  • LED light bulbs are brighter and more energy efficient. Consider doing a springtime switch-out if you don’t yet have them installed.

These safety precaution tips are things you naturally should always be on the lookout for. But the arrival of spring is always a good reminder to make a concentrated effort at safety upgrades. Think of it as an upgrade to good old-fashioned spring cleaning.

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