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Getting organised at home

February is a great month to get organised and set up home routines for the year ahead to help you, and/or the person you care for.

With the holiday season drawing to a close, it’s time to consider the year ahead and get organised. There are plenty of things you can do to make home life easier and safer. Some strategies to consider include:

  • Setting up a weekly/daily routine timetable in a central location so it can be seen by all. Include activities such as when to put the garbage out, when services will be provided, any appointments you have and when visitors are coming.
  • Reducing clutter to reduce frustrations and make it easier to find missing household items.
  • Putting up signs and labels around the house to help with navigation (for example which light switch works for each room). You can also use signs and labels to show where essential items are stored.
  • Putting a list of people you may need to contact on the fridge, with their numbers and a photograph to jog your memory if needed, including other family members, close friends, the doctor, dentist, taxi etc.
  • Using more assistive technologies to help you at home, such as an electronic diary on your mobile phone with notifications or alerts.

February is a great time to think about home safety. Consider:

  • Scheduling a time to have your smoke alarms and your household security checked
  • Developing a plan for emergencies
  • Using assistive technologies to keep your home safe (for examples using ovens, hotplates and irons that turn themselves off).

Also consider these strategies from others which are tried and tested, and can help you to better manage difficulties at home.

An occupational therapist (OT) could also help with your daily activities at home, and an OT assessment can  identify potential safety risks at home and how to best remedy them. Occupational therapy and home modifications focus on keeping you independent and doing things for yourself.

You can get subsidised occupational therapy visits via a chronic disease management plan which can be arranged with the help of your GP. For more information about chronic disease management plans read the article: How your GP and practice nurse can help.