Now that spring has sprung, it’s officially that time of year to do some much-needed spring cleaning. After all, it’s not uncommon for dust and dirt to build up after spending the chilly winter months indoors. Instead of disregarding spring cleaning as a mere chore, however, think of it as an opportunity to take preventative measures that will help ensure your safety in the home -- because that’s exactly what it is.
Although it’s easy to think that you’d never experience an accident in your home, it’s actually where six out of ten falls occur every year. Luckily, there are simple things you can do while spring cleaning that will go a long way in preventing falls at home.
Clear Out The Clutter
Do you have area rugs, electrical cords, newspapers, magazines, books, or maybe even boxes and plastic bags lying around throughout your home? Although these items seem innocent enough, they pose a serious fire hazard in addition to threatening your safety in the home by serving as potential tripping dangers. To lower your fall risk, go through each room and determine what can be donated, discarded or stored away carefully.
Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, think about how you can rearrange the furniture so that all walkways are clear. This will make navigating your home even easier and safer, especially if you use a cane or walker.
Add Safety Supports
Since spring’s showers cause slippery walkways both inside and outside of your home, maintaining your balance becomes much more difficult. To prevent slips in your home, add non-slip mats around each entrance, and always be sure that your shoes are completely dry before going inside. You can also make a habit of taking your shoes off when you come in from outside, which will prevent you from tracking dirt and water into the house. If you don’t like walking through the house in bare feet or socks, you can get a pair of slippers that are only for inside the house. You’ll be comfy and you won’t have to think about cleaning up any additional mess!
While preventing falls at home is important, you also need to take precautions when walking outside on rainy days. Wear shoes with nonskid soles, and keep your eyes on the ground for anything that could cause you to fall, like uneven walkways, fallen leaves and other debris.
Check The Stairs
Due to mobility limitations, stairs can become increasingly difficult to maneuver as you age, and uneven carpeting and loose steps threaten your safety in the home even further. In addition to checking for these two safety hazards, you should also add non-slip treads on every step and sturdy handrails on each side of the staircase for more support.
Remember to inspect the stairs around your home, as well. Since they are constantly exposed to the elements, those stairs may be even more unstable than the ones in your home.
If you suffer from any age-related vision problems, avoiding safety hazards in your home becomes much harder. Luckily, something as simple as opening up the curtains throughout the day -- especially now that we can enjoy more sunlight -- will improve your ability to spot those hazards that threaten your safety in the home.
Other preventative steps, like adding more lamps, using brighter bulbs and placing nightlights in hallways, will also lower your fall risk as you move throughout your home, day or night.
Tips for Tackling Spring Cleaning
On top of spring cleaning, the idea of simultaneously preventing falls at home can seem overwhelming. Just remember, however, that organizing your home is a key step in lowering your fall risk and ensuring your ability to continue living independently. If you’re unsure where to begin, these tips will help you tackle spring cleaning.
Even after taking the time to clean and fall-proof your home, falls and other accidents can unfortunately still happen. Although none of us know when an emergency will strike, a Medical Guardian medical alert device ensures your safety in the home, 24/7. Should you ever experience a fall, medical emergency, accident, or even a house fire or power outage, immediate help is always just the push of a button away.