Organization Checklist | First Steps to Home Safety
Organized Medical Information: Keep all emergency contacts, insurance, and other medical records in a secure organized location for easy retrieval. Make sure other family members know where items are stored to save time and energy retrieving items in case of an emergency.
Organized Mail: Having an organized mail and bill paying area can minimize junk mail, reduce stress, and help avoid penalties and late fees on bills.
Organized Work Space: Keep your most used items close at hand and avoid storing them in high or hard to reach places. Just because items have always been stored in a certain area doesn’t mean that is the most optimum space for them now. Save high out-of-the-way areas for seasonal storage where someone can assist in retrieving them.
Organized Living Space: Reduce clutter by identifying the most treasured items and focus on creating a place of honor for them in the home. If your loved one is resistant to get rid of anything, packing items in a storage unit can be a good middle step to try out living in a space without them. Keeping entry and walk ways clear is crucial to preventing falls and injuries.
Organized How-To’s: Especially for loved ones with dementia creating a home how-to binder or posting reminders around the house can minimize frustration an unnecessary clean-up. Consider posting signs on the Washer/ Dryer, Dishwasher, or other appliances used for daily living. Place a labeling system such as masking tape and a marker to label food in the fridge and post a reminder of when items should be tossed out.
Organized Social Life: Consolidating all those notes and small business card reminders in to a single large calendar is helpful in managing the chaos of a changing routine. Display doctor appointments, routine household tasks, activities, visits, and other appointments. This single reference point can cut down on the confusion and reduce stress.
Organized Medication Cabinet: For prescription medication and supplements, keep a labeled bin for each person in the household to avoid mixing up medications or dosages. Separately, keep shared emergency items stocked in an organized location. When a situation arises you don’t want to waste time hunting down the right item or driving to the drugstore.
Your medicine cabinet should include:
- Aspirin (or appropriate pain reliever)
- Band-Aids in a variety of sizes
- Gauze, tape and Ace Bandage
- Cold or Flu Medications
- Cough Medicine, throat spray and lozenges
- Laxatives and antidiarrheal treatment
- Ice and heat packs
- Tweezers and Nail Clippers
- Sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and Aloe Vera Gel
- Hydrocortisone Cream ( for itching and bites)
- Eye drops
- Lotion and Vaseline
- Antiseptic for wound cleaning ( such as hydrogen peroxide)
- Antibiotic ointment for preventing infections ( such as Neosporin )
- Carbonated drink (such as Ginger Ale) and Crackers
- Drink high in electrolytes to help with dehydration
*** Always consult your doctor before mixing over-the-counter medications with prescription medications.
Overall Simplicity: Simplicity is such a gift for those with limited mobility or dementia. Not having to care for a large space or extensive items can result in a higher quality of life. Minimizing clutter in the home can not only improve safety but the quality of life your loved one enjoys in their home.
If you are concerned your loved one does not have the highest quality of life in their home, our home care and care management services can provide a neutral assessment and help create a safe space for your loved one to age well in place. We can also create a plan for the future to ensure your loved one’s needs are met as they change.
Published on January 23, 2013.