Do you enter your parent’s home and can’t believe the stacks of stuff that have accumulated on every flat surface: piles of newspapers and mail everywhere, magazines and old photographs? As clutter creeps, it can be a problem. For senior citizens, it may threaten independence, reduce safety and create stress.
The risks of out-of-control possessions can include slipping on loose papers to the threat of fire to the health effects of mold and mildew. Homes of senior’s do not have to be perfectly organized to be clean, but note that an organized home is not always a clean home. Sometimes all that your loved one needs is a bit of support and someone who cares to assist them to clear away the clutter. Often times, they simply feel overwhelmed, and the task of cleaning up seems daunting to begin alone.
The first thing to do for someone that you are assisting is to make a list. Write down everything that needs to be straightened or cleaned. Keep the list handy, by posting it on the refrigerator or a cork board where all important reminders are kept. This is a good idea for two reasons. First, when going to the fridge for that snack, the list will be there as a reminder to get things done. Second, when tasks are accomplished they can then be scratched off the list as completed. This gives a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Ways to Clean out an Area before Organizing
Several boxes or containers are needed:
– One for “Charity”
– One for “Give-aways for friends or relatives”
– One for “Things to be Kept but moved to another room”
– One for “Trash or recycling”
Clutter control categories:
– What is it’s purpose?
– When was the last time I used it?
– Will I use it again?
– Do I really need it?
– Do I already own one of these that suits the same purpose?
– Does it have sentimental value?
Be firm with clutter control choices and remember that if each article doesn’t fit into one of these categories, then it is complicating your life. Keep things simple, life is too short to be spent suffocating in a messy, untidy home.
Cypress HomeCare Solutions is dedicated to ensuring that seniors can enjoy their own independence, enhanced quality of life, and peace of mind. Either independently or with the aid of a caregiver, we try to improve the lives of seniors in Arizona. Visit our HomeCare Resources page to find more information and tips.