If you’re like me, your gutters are full of leaves! That means your older loved one’s gutters are also getting full. Make sure you talk to them about not getting on a ladder and trying to clean them out themselves. Older people are very independent and often will take on tasks that are now beyond their capabilities.
How many times have you heard about an older person falling off a ladder while doing a chore around their place? Well, I have heard it many times. My own daddy fell off a ladder trying to fix something and broke his arm! And that was decades ago when he was much younger. It still took him months to recover and he was very fortunate the fall didn’t kill him.
I once interview a geriatric manager who told me a story about her father. He decided that the oranges needed picking and the best ones were above the garage. He climbed a ladder and got on the roof and spent the next 18 months recovering from a bad fall. He’s also fortunate it didn’t take his life. However, it did take away the life he enjoyed before that fall.
Older people are even more concerned about getting their place ready for winter. This is the season where they perform tasks they just shouldn’t do. Yes, they have the know-how but they don’t have the same physical capabilities they had just a few years ago. Trouble with their eyesight, balance and physical strength can make ordinary chores very dangerous. If you add in osteoporosis a fall is life-threatening.
They think they can do it. They take pride in doing things for themselves. It’s a recipe for disaster. You need to not only talk to them about these possible dangers but see to it that someone else takes care of these fall chores.
These are some of the fall chores you should not do when you get older:
- Cleaning gutters
- Repairing steps inside and out
- Trimming of trees
- Painting – especially when it will require a ladder
- Changing light bulbs
- Changing batteries in smoke alarms
- Cleaning out the fireplace
- Storing summer items you keep high up in the garage
- Cleaning out bird feeders if they hang high up
- Cleaning windows
Also remind your loved ones not to go down bare-wood stairs with their socks on. My mother fell down eight steps doing just that. It’s a wonder she didn’t break her neck!
Go through your parent’s house and throw out all the throw rugs. They are very dangerous for everyone especially older people.