Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Declutter Your Older Adult’s Living Space

It's that time of year: Spring Cleaning time! Take a look around. Are there winter blankets to pack away for the season? Are neighborhood signs appearing for yard sales and recycling fundraisers? It's time to clean house and brighten up the rooms. DailyCaring has a few suggestions for how to make living spaces safer and more spacious by decluttering them.

Declutter Your Older Adult’s Living Space

Create a safe, pleasant living space
Many older adults spend a majority of their time in a few rooms of the house. For safety and comfort, it’s important to make sure their main living spaces are decluttered, pleasant, and don’t have hidden dangers.

Being in open, welcoming spaces is also a great mood booster. Here are our top five suggestions for creating a comfortable space where your older adult can happily spend time.

1. Get your older adult involved
      This is the space they’ll be using so collaborate with them on changes.
      Help them feel excited about getting a room or home makeover.
      Tackle the rooms that your older adult spends most of their time in. Don’t worry about spaces they never use.

2. Declutter and remove tripping hazards
      Swap out any sharp-edged furniture for softer, safer items.
      Remove throw rugs or area rugs.
      Tape down or remove any exposed electrical cords.
      Donate or sell excess furniture or move it to other rooms. Keep things simple and minimal.
      Declutter the space! Don’t use the room as a storage area.
      Keep only things that are actively being used and consider storage baskets for organization.

3. Brighten the space
      Improve the lighting by getting brighter lights and making sure the curtains get opened.
      Hang up a few large pictures or posters. Anything that triggers happy memories is great. Ideas include:
      Family photos
      Nature scenes
      Images from hobbies like fishing or gardening
      Cityscapes from favorite vacations

4. Keep frequently used things in reach
      Make note of the things that your older adult reaches for constantly.
      Figure out how to keep those items within arms reach of their usual seat.
      This could include:
      TV remote control
      Reading glasses
      Books or puzzles
      Glass of water

5. Bring nature inside
      Add some plants. Whether they’re fake or real, they bring freshness and life.
      Add natural items from favorite activities, like:
      Smooth rocks from a fishing spot
      Shells collected from the beach
      Flowers from the farmer’s market
      A bowl of lemons
      A bunch of fall leaves

By DailyCaring Editorial Staff

DailyCaring.com empowers families who care for older adults by giving free, practical advice. We help you make good care decisions and manage real-life challenges. Plus, everything is short and to-the-point!

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