When was the last time you helped your elderly loved one to refresh their home?
For older adults, living at home comes with countless advantages. Aging in place is a wonderful way for older adults to continue to be able to connect with their community, live independently, and enjoy a truly active, enriched, and fulfilling lifestyle.
Of course, spending time at home can cause anyone to grow a bit weary of the “same-old-same-old.” This is particularly true right now, with so many of us staying around the house in order to practice safe social distancing measures and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
After months spent around the house, even your favorite spaces are bound to feel a little bit tired. Fortunately, just as there are countless ways to stay active while social distancing, there are all sorts of ways for seniors and their family members to update and refresh their best-loved living spaces — without breaking the bank!
Looking for fun, easy, and safe ways to refresh and reinvigorate your whole home in no time? Here are 10 ideas to get you started:
1.) Do a Deep Cleaning
A quick and easy way to refresh your home from top to bottom is to give it a good cleaning — particularly by taking on all the housekeeping chores you and your loved ones may usually put off. For example, you could make some time to get rid of the dust and cobwebs from the high or out-of-reach spaces you normally ignore; clean your refrigerator, oven, and washing machine inside and out; and sanitize all of the “touchpoints” we all tend to take for granted, like remote controls, doorknobs, and light switches.
2.) Bring In a Fresh New Scent
Tired of dank or musty odors? Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful — and changing the aroma of your home can be a wonderful way to fall in love with your most familiar spaces, all over again. Start by cleaning up problematic sources of odor (think the trash can, the garbage disposal, the back of the pantry) and then look for ways to bring in some calming, refreshing new scents. Set out reed diffusers or plug-in air fresheners; make your own misting sprays from essential oils and fragrances; or fill up the space with houseplants and fresh flowers. There are also all sorts of hacks that can get rid of dank and musty odors, like sprinkling coffee beans into your trash bag or setting out an “odor eater” in your pantry or closet.
3.) Amp Up the Color
A new pop of color can bring life into any space — and there’s no shortage of ways to embrace your favorite shades! From adding a touch of paint; to bringing in new blankets, pillows, and linens; to decorating with fresh flowers; to hanging new artwork on the walls, the only limit is your imagination!
4.) Get Rid of Clutter
As we age, we all tend to acquire a lot of stuff — with much of it piling up around our houses. Oftentimes, refreshing a home starts with getting organized — and getting organized starts with getting rid of clutter. While your loved one may be reluctant to part with things they’ve purchased or received over the years, you can make this process easier by working together, emphasizing your concerns, and stressing the positive effects of decluttering. Clutter can be a serious health hazard, leading to falls and serving as a breeding ground for dust, mold, and allergens. Work methodically, and move room by room or category by category. Divide up items based on what your loved one wants to keep; what must be thrown away; and what can be donated or given away to a new home.
5.) Add Some Extra Storage
Once you’ve gone through and gotten rid of all the clutter you no longer have a place for, it’s time to make more room for the things you and your loved ones have decided to keep. Adding additional storage is a great way to make the most of your space, and there are all kinds of creative solutions and ideas to try — from hanging space-saving baskets and shelves; to storing items in discreet boxes; to fitting your shelves, bookcases, and built-ins with compact spacers or organizers.
6.) Rearrange the Furniture and Decor…
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to refresh your space — but it might help if you rearrange it a bit. When it comes to reviving a living area, little things like the placement of furniture and artwork can make a big difference. Try changing up the position of your hanging pictures; switch the wall that a couch or bed is on; or move decorative pieces from one room in the home to another. These little swaps can cause you to look at your home with an entirely new perspective.
And while you’re doing this, you and your loved one can make sure that their home is safe and easy to navigate by opening up an unobstructed walking path, adding additional handrails and supports, setting up a space for first floor living, and getting rid of tripping hazards. This is a great opportunity to do whatever it takes to create a truly senior-friendly environment that suits your aging loved one’s lifestyle and needs.
7.) …Or Bring In Some New Pieces!
Out with the old, in with the new! Adding even just one or two new practical purchases can completely refresh a living space — from adding a stylish new non-slip carpet, to adding a comfortable chair that is easier for your loved one to get in and out of. To keep costs in check, you might look for unique finds at a local resale store or thrift shop. Creating artwork, decorations, and furnishings can also be a wonderful activity for your entire family to enjoy together.
8.) Bring an Antique or Heirloom Back to Life
One way to make a space feel brand new is to rediscover something very old. If your loved one has precious family heirlooms or furnishings, look for ways to revive these old treasures and make them a vital, important piece of the home. This might mean restoring old furniture; polishing up treasured silverware and serving dishes; or reframing classic photographs or paintings so they can be proudly displayed for years and years to come.
9.) Let There Be Light!
Lighting is something we all tend to take for granted — until something goes wrong. But in reality, the way we light our favorite rooms can make a huge difference in how we experience them. A new lamp or overhead light fixture can easily transform the look and feel of a bedroom, dining room, or bathroom. Swapping out harsh white bulbs for gentle, more natural tones can make a living space feel a lot more cozy and relaxing. Find what works best! Just remember that for seniors, the most important thing is to make sure that the lighting in their most-used spaces is bright and safe, and that all lightswitches or clickers are always accessible and easy to reach.
10.) Get Ready for Next Season
Are you looking forward to crisp, golden fall days? Or feeling ready to hunker down for a cozy and comfortable winter? During those transitional weeks between seasons, help your loved one decorate and fill their space with all the things that will help them enjoy the months to come. This might mean breaking out your family’s favorite wreaths, candles, and cozy blankets for autumn, or decorating with pastel colors and flowers for springtime. Embrace your favorite traditions — or start a new one!
Looking to Enrich the Life of Your Senior Loved One?
Aging in place is a meaningful way for older adults to continue to enjoy freedom, flexibility, and independence — while spending time in a safe, familiar environment that they know and love. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the vast majority of older adults say that they want to age in place for as long as possible.
Bringing on the companionship and support of a trained professional caregiver is a simple, meaningful, and cost-effective way to help your elderly loved one enjoy their time at home with confidence and peace of mind.
That’s where we would be happy to step in and help! Locally owned and operated in Chicago, Illinois, with clients in the city and suburbs, Companions for Seniors is a home care company like no other.
We offer a variety of services designed to help our clients remain in the comfort of their own homes, while ensuring that their most important needs are met. Our trained and bonded companions are available on a full- or part-time basis and can offer driving services in the comfort of a company car, while also assisting with laundry, meal preparation, housekeeping, social support, and activities of daily living (ADLs).
Our services are practical, convenient, and it’s easy to get started. Companions for Seniors provides a free in-home assessment of your senior family’s current situation, and in most cases we can be up and running in just two days. We understand that every situation is unique, so we provide a personalized care plan that’s modified to meet each client’s specific needs. As a client’s situation changes, so does our plan of care.
At every step of the way, we know the importance of fostering an open dialogue and sharing ideas; always going the extra mile with our services; and providing flexible care at the right price for every household.
Have any more questions about keeping your loved one’s home safe, comfortable, and inviting — especially in the age of COVID-19? Ready to start the search for home care resources near you? We’re here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out online today to get the conversation started, or give us a call at 866-910-9020.