Decluttering is Accident Prevention at its Best
How many of you remember hearing your toddlers say, “I can do it myself!” You may have even heard these words more recently coming from the lips of your grandkids or great grandkids. Or…
You may even be guilty of saying them yourself. For example…
- I don’t need anyone to mow the lawn. I can do it myself.
- I’m not so old that I can’t drive myself to the doctor and wherever else I want to go.
- I am perfectly capable of changing a lightbulb all by myself.
- I could have sworn I paid that bill. It must have gotten lost in the mail.
- I know ‘that’s’ here someplace….
Hopefully, more often than not, it’s true. You are capable of doing things on your own. But pride and stubbornness have a way of convincing nearly everyone over the age of sixty, that they are more agile, flexible, and steady on our feet than they really are. And as a result, these same people break a bone (or bones), get concussions, need stitches, or lay injured and helpless in a basement, bathroom, or back yard for hours (if not longer) before someone comes to help.
This is not what anyone wants for themselves or their loved ones. In fact, these very things are often the root cause for seniors choosing not to age in place. Or having that choice made for them. What if I told you, though, that if aging in place is what you want to do, one thing you can do to make it safer for you and more appealing to your family, is the act of DECLUTTERING.
Why decluttering, you ask? Great question. Here’s the answer….
*Getting rid of lawn and garden equipment, lawn mowers, and even power tools, eliminates the possibility of you getting hurt while using them. Even things as ‘minor’ as throwing your back out of place, getting blisters on your hands that break open, and getting too much sun can lead to bigger and more serious problems. For example, open sores can lead to infections that might require hospitalization. Throwing your back out causes a person to put undue stress on their limbs, which then leads to further problems. Too much sun can lead to dehydration and/or heatstroke.
*If you don’t have ladders hanging around to tempt you, the chances of you falling off one while changing a lightbulb are next to none. If the kids or a handyman are responsible for these little jobs, they can easily bring a stepstool or stepladder to take care of it. Bigger jobs requiring bigger ladders will be brought by those doing these jobs.
*If you have thirty (or more) years of appliance manuals for things you no longer own but have to waste time sifting through them to find the one that tells you which breaker goes with what, you might just be able to avoid having to replace your kitchen appliances.
*If arthritis or some other ailment causing muscle weakness and/or decreases your ability to grip things properly, getting rid of things like deep fryers and pressure cookers can prevent burns, bone fractures, or damage to your home.
*Discarding expired OTC medications, prescription medications, and food items is an important step in preventing serious adverse reactions and food poisoning.
These are just a few ways YOU can save yourself from preventable accidents and injuries. I know when you started reading you may have believed that the two—decluttering and safely aging in place—aren’t related to one another. Now that you’ve come to the end of this article, I hope you have changed your mind.
Guest post By Darla Noble
The views expressed by the author may not reflect the views of Age Safe America, LLC. The content here should not be taken as medical, legal or financial advice. The content here is for informational purposes only, and because each person is so unique, please consult your own healthcare, legal or financial professional with any questions.