Health Info & Resources for Seniors
Spring can represent a new day; some say it is dawn in the wheel of the year. For me, I always have a feeling of restlessness and excitement, an urgency to get outside. I look around and see what I want to accomplish to prepare my home for spring. Please note I used the word “want,” not “need.”
Before my husband and I move our focus to the yard and outside activities, I have a “fever” to get prepared. Typically, spring cleaning can mean decluttering, throwing clothes out, organizing, cleaning the baseboards, and opening windows to let the fresh air in. I can almost smell the fresh air pouring in with the sunlight shining in. Rome was not built in a day, so creating a checklist really helps me to stay focused. There are some things that can be done quickly, and other things that can be done on the “fly” throughout the day.
Some things to explore in your spring cleaning fever
Check all the labels on your medicines, both over-the-counter and prescriptions and vitamins. To dispose of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, call your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service and ask if a drug take-back program is available in your community. Another source is Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know | FDA.
Evaluate your bathroom for safety. Are there grab rails strategically located to be used when bathing or using the toilet? Are toiletries and towels located conveniently? Senior services for aging are available where experts will walk around your house inside and out to look for fall risks. For example, if there are steps going outside, railings should be installed (double railings are extra-safe).
At the same time, check your balance with your healthcare team to see if there is a risk for a fall, especially before going outside and walking in the yard. Wear safe shoes! Check your sneakers and outside shoes and make sure they have good support. Throw away those old comfy shoes that do not have good support!
Check sunscreen bottles for expiration dates and make sure you use the sunscreen if it is still okay. If you do not have sunscreen, purchase some. Next, dig out your sun hats and sunglasses for fit and facial coverage. This is a good time to visit the dermatologist to check any worrisome areas on the face and neck for skin cancer.
Purge beauty products. If you have not used a product for six months, get rid of it. Yes — lipstick, mascara, all make up. This is a great time to buy new exciting colors and maybe create a new look!
Organize spices. When my husband and I began our spring cleaning this year, we decided to organize our spices (see pictures below). The goal was to keep only the spices we need and fit them into the spice rack below on the right. Stay tuned for this accomplishment! During this spice cleanup, we discovered spices from 2009 and 2012. Spices are safe even if they are expired, but we chose to discard them since flavor and potency are affected. For you who are creative, making potpourri by heating the spices may be appealing.
In closing, SPRING is a reminder that God is all about making things new. A new sun rising. A new shoot coming out of the ground. A new hatchling in the nest. As daylight increases, we sometimes experience fresh new energy and a desire to do more. This spring can be about a new beginning, new life, and light. Blessings to all!