For many of us, this is the time of year we throw open the windows, let some fresh air into our homes and perhaps look at our space with a fresh set of eyes, newly “defrosted” from all that winter ice and snow.  With our fresh perspective it might be that we also notice it’s time to do a bit of decluttering and tidying up. If all that bright sunlight is casting a spotlight on a winter’s worth of build up, you might be ready to do a little spring cleaning! As we age, this task becomes even more important for any number of reasons, your physical safety being perhaps the most important one.

Seniors and Spring Cleaning

Why is it so important for mature adults to stay on top of the dust bunnies? A few reasons come to mind and the truth is, it’s really nothing to do with dust although if you suffer from allergies keeping the dust down is always a good idea!

  • You may wish to look at your furnace filter as your first line of defence in helping to clear the air and if you don’t already have one, a humidifier is always a good idea for preventing dry air and the results that come with it like dry skin, irritation of the lining of the nose and throat and even dry mouth.
  • A humidifier (along with all that fresh air) will help to restore moisture balance in your living space and is of particular benefit to persons living with COPD, asthma or any chronic lung It helps to foster easier breathing and can even help you to expel phlegm.
  • In a perfect world you would have already been running the humidifier all winter long but now is a good time to clean it AND keep it running, especially with Covid still a threat in our community.
  • As for that furnace filter, you’ll soon be giving the furnace a break anyway so switching out to a clean filter now just makes good sense. Most manufacturers generally recommend replacing it about every 6-9 months at most anyway.

 Older Adults Often Have “Older Stuff!”

  • Another reason for a good spring cleaning ritual is that it offers a chance for you to start the process of decluttering your home, perhaps preparing for an eventual downsize to a retirement space – whether that’s in a few months from now or not for another year or two.
  • No one likes to be rushed into making decisions and downsizing decisions are hard enough without the hurry. Make this spring “Step one” in your downsizing process by taking a good, hard look around your space and determining now what can stay and what should go. We’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth a reminder: This is a great opportunity to potentially pass along family heirlooms to those you love and who you know will treasure them, giving you the added pleasure of watching those treasures get used. Take your favourite set of china for example, if you’re not hosting dinner parties anymore, pass them along to the family member who is hosting your next holiday gathering for the family. Chances are, those extra dishes will come in handy and they will be appreciated!
  • If and when you actually move, will you need all the furniture you have now? How about all the little knick-knacks and memorabilia you’ve collected over the years? It’s likely the answer is no, so now is the time to let go. Host a yard or estate sale (we can help!) or donate to your local thrift store or favourite charity. You can do some good, for yourself or others while you declutter your space. Let’s be honest – you’ll also be helping family members in the future who might end up having to do this work for you. This is a hard task, no doubt about it and Goshenite can help. One of the many senior services we offer is helping people with downsizing, decluttering and transitioning into retirement living.
  • We never schedule more than 3 hours at a time for these tasks because we know they are hard to do: mentally, physically and emotionally. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, contact our offices for a consultation.

 For the Good of Your Good Health

  • When it comes to seniors, there are other relevant tips to consider when we talk about spring cleaning. As we age, it’s not necessarily that we become suddenly clumsier, but rather, that if we were to experience a trip and fall, there is a great likelihood that we could end up with a broken bone or something like a mild concussion. For that reason, spring cleaning is a great time to not only clean your area rugs but consider whether or not they really need to be in your home.
  • You may want to consider installing stair treads on a set of wooden stairs because when you have finished polishing them to a high shine they might look great but also cause a slip with disastrous consequences.
  • Decluttering and cleaning out your kitchen cupboards is a great excuse to start thinking about how and where you store things. Make that shelf that’s just a little too high and requires a stepping stool the home of your rarely used items that you’re not quite ready to part with. Making things more accessible in the kitchen will lead to less potential for an accident caused either by climbing on a stool or chair, or reaching for something that comes crashing down on your head!
  • If you have experienced an accident and need a little extra mobility help around the house or to get to and from your Doctor appointments, Goshenite offers transportation services to ensure you get where you need to, when you need to. We also have various home support services to help you throughout this time and/or as you age in place for as long as you hope to do so.

There are plenty of reasons to dig into a little spring cleaning in April but the most important reason of all is your health! Protect yourself physically with a safe, clean environment. Protect yourself mentally by hiring a service like Goshenite to assist with transportation, home care needs or downsizing and estate sale requirements and protect yourself emotionally by taking this time to plan for your preferred retirement living style rather than being rushed into a decision due to a medical emergency. By the time you finish spring cleaning it’ll be May and the perfect time to head outdoors and do some more digging – this time in your garden!