Spring is the season of renewal; birds come out from their winter nests, the days are longer, and the weather is finally warm.
People walk around with smiles on their faces and no longer have to carry around the extra layers of big, wooly scarves and heavy jackets.
With nicer weather and sunnier days, one can open up windows and doors for some fresh air.
Spring is also the perfect time of year to clean your house from top to bottom, and to get rid of any unwanted belongings.
However, with spring cleaning and the amount of movement that is involved, comes the risk of falling, particularly with Seniors.
In fact, the leading cause of injury in Seniors is falling which can result in cuts, hip fractures, and serious head and brain injuries.
Due to weather factors and shorter days, it is common to engage in less activity throughout the winter, and we become accustomed to fairly stationary lifestyles. After months of being inactive, it is important to perform gentle stretches and exercises before engaging in any strenuous activity including Spring Cleaning, particularly for Seniors, since muscles, bones, and joints might react negatively to sudden movements.
At Integracare, we are dedicated to providing the absolute best in home health care services in Toronto and we are committed to our Clients’ safety and well-being, including offering several forms of physical support and therapy.
Our professional roster of Caregivers include Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), Personal Support Workers (PSWs), Registered Massage Therapists (RTMs), and more, and we support you and your aging parent by delivering high quality support on-site wherever they call home.
We are there to help with the Spring Cleaning but also to help prevent falls and accidents. If you or a loved one has experienced a fall or injury, then we’re also there to provide care, monitor and rehabilitate you or your loved one. Please don’t hesitate to inquire about our services at any time.
In the meantime, take a look at our fall prevention tips below to guarantee spring cleaning safety for your loved one.
1: Get rid of Clutter
- Cleaning up old magazines and newspapers, purging old clothing or kitchen utensils, and getting rid of clutter prevents falls and injuries, and is an excellent way to say goodbye to winter and welcome the refreshing energy of spring.
- Clearing pathways in every room is a great fall prevention strategy by limiting clutter and obstacles to trip over.
- Make sure books and small objects are all kept on shelves and not on the floor.
- Staircases and hallways should always be clear of loose objects, and carpets and rugs in these parts of the home should always be nonslip.
- It is important to remove tripping hazards such as slippery throw rugs, loose carpets, and extension cords. Tripping on these items can result in back pain and other injuries.
Make sure these loose items are either repaired or replaced for effective fall prevention. With loose carpets and rugs, consider installing Grip Tape or rubber surfaces underneath them to maintain sturdiness.
Integracare Caregivers are available to help you or your loved ones declutter this Spring in an effort to reduce this risk of falls.
2: Install handrails & Grab Bars
This tip can be applied any time of the year, and it is crucial if your loved one has mobility issues or an injury – and they are especially useful if there are stairs in the house.
Seniors depend on handrails and grab bars when cleaning their home, because the tools allow them to move around independently and with confidence.
Handrails should be installed in staircases and long hall ways, and they are designed to be grasped to maintain stability and support to prevent falls and other injuries. They provide excellent support when dusting or polishing furniture.
An installed grab bar in the bathroom can not only help Seniors get in and out of the shower, but it can help with reaching corners to scrub, too.
If your parent has mobility issues from an injury or arthritis, and requires specialized at-home care, our RPNs and Caregivers are there to support them and aid them around the house, and can demonstrate how to utilize tools such as handrails and grab bars.
We have customized treatments and services that ensure joyful living, and Clients keep active and feel safe around the house when they are in our care.
3: Consider Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy
Integracare offers at-home services for you or your loved one and our suite of customized therapeutic services can be extremely helpful in one’s recovery.
Integracare has been providing physiotherapy services to Clients’ homes for over 25 years in Toronto, and our caring staff ensures that our Clients are comfortable and receive the very best treatment possible.
Physiotherapy is comprised of gentle exercises and stretches, and the goal is to build overall body strength after an accident or surgery. It is a recovery method that is also preventative, increasing strength and limiting the chance of further falls.
We also offer Registered Massage Therapy, and our RMTs facilitate services directly at your home.
The repercussions of falling include physical pain, even depression or anxiety. Regular massage therapy activates blood flow to muscles, eliminates toxins, and improves healing time for injuries.
Massage Therapy for Seniors also benefits breathing, increases mobility and appetite, improves digestion and elimination, and it provides more restful sleep.
4: Avoid Loose Clothing
Although it is tempting to want to wear looser clothing because of rising temperatures in the springtime, especially when working up a sweat from cleaning, baggy clothes can sometimes turn into hazardous accident traps.
Properly hemmed and appropriately-fitted clothing that doesn’t drag on the ground are key components for your senior parent’s spring cleaning attire, and avoid dressing gowns or flowy dresses.
5: Drug Monitoring
Sometimes, the side-effects of medications can be dizziness and disorientation which can result in devastating falls.
Of course, this is a year-round concern but with spring in full bloom, it’s a good opportunity to refresh your memory and to familiarize your family member and yourself with your medication intake.
Talk with your loved one’s Doctor to obtain the exact information you need to know about mixing medications and quantities, and write out a list of precautions and any medications to avoid.
Keep the list in an accessible place in the house (the fridge, perhaps), and purchase a Seven Day Pill Organizer, so that it will be easy to navigate pills throughout the week.
Home nursing care and Personal Support are essential components to improving our Clients’ quality of life, and we provide round-the-clock nursing services to support you and your family. These services include drug monitoring and may include drug administration.
Understanding medication intake can feel overwhelming, even with advice from a Doctor, but with one of our RPNs by your side, we can put your concerns to rest.
So, be sure to keep the above points in mind this spring. Here are some additional tips to remind your aging parent in order to be extra careful:
- Wear shoes with good grip when cleaning
- Limit pets to certain rooms in the house, so your loved one won’t trip over them
- Leave the big jobs to us. Our Integracare Caregivers can help Clients with high-risk chores such as cleaning windows, mopping floors, and vacuuming stairs.
Our Caregivers have a watchful eye for tripping hazards around the house to prevent falls and accidents and will remove them.
At Integracare, we want our Clients to experience a safe and independent lifestyle. Our expert Caregivers are committed to providing superior home health care to you and your family in the spring, and any time of the year.
Call our Nursing Coordinators to find out how we can help you and your family today.