Clear the Clutter!

Years ago, I was invited to the home of a brilliant scientist, a retired professor in her nineties who claimed that she had never thrown out a daily newspaper in her entire adult life.  Imagine my intrigue when entering her enormous eighth-story apartment to be ushered (in single file) through a high and narrow maze in thousands of editions of The New York Times!  While I certainly enjoyed the visit, I spent much of the time worrying about the glaring threats to her well-being—not the least of which were fire, falling, and poor air quality.

In stark contrast, I have a friend whose idea of spring cleaning includes—along with other “detailing” tasks—annually removing every window from her house for a serious scrub and polish.  She does this all by herself, and the rest of us are left to wonder how in the world she does it (but for goodness’ sake, why).

Both scenarios are extreme—but the reality is that maintaining a cleaner, dust-controlled and uncluttered living space accomplishes much more than satisfying a personal desire for cleanliness or the pride of hard work.  It can mean the difference between independence and dependence…the difference between healthy and unhealthy aging.

Consider, for example, that the risk for falling increases with age and that injury due to a fall can be physically, emotionally and financially devastating.  Falling is the leading cause of injury-related death in people over 65—and yet most falls are preventable! Often they occur as a result of inattention to fall hazards, including clutter.

If fall prevention isn’t enough to inspire sorting, straightening, cleaning, giving away, recycling and throwing out, maybe this will help. Studies show that a fresher, well organized space can make people of all ages better able to focus and less likely to feel depressed or anxious.

The absence of falls, improved concentration, a better outlook…spring cleaning is a tried and true recipe for healthy aging!


More News & Stories

Check presentation for Anthem healthy food grant

50 Years of Philanthropy: The Impact of Grants at CICOA

In our ongoing celebration of 50 years of service, dedication and impact for older Hoosiers in Central Indiana, we look back at this milestone moment to see a journey filled with challenges, triumphs and the unwavering support of our community....
CICOA awards Outstanding Woman of Service Award to Carmel Mayor Sue Finkam

Carmel Mayor Sue Finkam Honored with CICOA Outstanding Woman of Service Award

CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions awarded new Carmel Mayor Sue Finkam with its inaugural Outstanding Woman of Service Award for her commitment to protect affordable neighborhoods in the city and her advocacy for making Carmel a place where older adults...
CICOA President & CEO Tauhric Brown at the White House

CICOA President & CEO Attends White House Meeting

CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions President & CEO Tauhric Brown was invited to the White House for the distinguished event, "Communities in Action: Building a Better Indiana and Illinois" on Feb. 1. The event brought together local elected officials and...