If an elder you know is looking to downsize in their golden years, renting a storage unit for all of the items that he or she has collected throughout the years is almost an absolute necessity. The storage unit will help remove clutter from homes and provide an easily accessible place for retrieving those items at a later date. When helping an elderly person organize their self storage unit at a facility like Glenbrook Self Storage, keep in mind that most elderly people are no longer as strong and nimble as they used to be. As a result, you'll need to take extra precautions when organizing the unit. Here are 3 tips to keep in mind.
Pack Lightly without Stacking Too High
It's rather unfortunate, but most elderly people tend to become frail with age. In fact, a recent study found that 6.9% of the elderly living in the community are considered to be frail. This generally means that they are weaker than they used to be as measured by grip strength, are constantly succumbing to exhaustion, possess slow walking speeds and participate in low levels of physical activity. With that said, these elderly people will not have the strength to pack and move heavy boxes.
When packing and organizing a storage unit for seniors, make sure you pack lightly, so that each box remains relatively easy to carry and lift. Make sure that you check with whoever you're helping regarding the size and weight of boxes that he or she can comfortably lift and move. You want to pack boxes that are considerably lighter than his or her maximum capabilities, as there's a good chance that his or her condition may weaken with time. In addition, make sure to avoid stacking the boxes too high on top of one another. If these boxes are to fall over, they can become an extremely large safety hazard.
Place Padding on the Corners of Containers
Elderly people tend to fall over more often or tend to sustain more severe injuries when they get into accidents, like bumping into corners. Surprisingly, the corners of the containers and boxes used for storage purposes can be rather sharp. In fact, these corners can cause significant injuries depending on the angle and force of impact.
With that being said, you can easily help avoid injuries by placing pads and cushions around the corners of the containers. The easiest thing to do is to wrap foam paddings around the corners of all of the boxes and containers that will be stored in the unit. Don't forget to also add pads and cushions around heavy and large furniture, like tables. Basically, you want to make sure that there are no sharp areas that can cause significant injuries should one fall.
Install Anti-Slip Mats
Another common issue that plagues the elderly is falls. While falls don't just happen because you've gotten older, the risk of falling does increase with age due to factors like poor balance and gait caused by lack of exercise, muscle weakness from health and medical conditions, slower reflexes, failing senses, poor depth perception and more.
Before you move anything into the self storage units, install anti-slip mats. These anti-slip mats will help prevent falls. In addition, they also act as cushioning should a fall occur. On top of preventing injuries, anti-slip mats can also improve grip and tension between the bottom of the boxes or furniture and the floor. This helps to stabilize towers of stacked boxes to prevent them from falling over.
If you're helping an elderly person move in all of his or her items into a storage unit, you definitely will want to spend some extra time organizing the storage unit in a way that will be most convenient to the storage owner. With just a little precaution, you can prevent accidents and injuries and help make the contents stored within the unit much more easily accessible.