3 Ways to Help Aging Parents with Housekeeping
When was the last time you cleaned your home? As we welcomed spring not too long ago, you might have recently done some seasonal cleaning. While you may be staying on track with housekeeping tasks, can you think of someone who might be having trouble doing so? For example, consider the roughly 26 million Americans over the age of fifty that are living alone.
Have you been thinking about the perfect gift for mom for Mother’s Day (May 14) or dad for Father’s Day (June 20) as both are quickly approaching? Do they seem to have everything they want? Or are you looking to do something more to help a parent? If so, providing assistance with spring cleaning / regular housekeeping chores can be the perfect solution.
Housekeeping and Aging
There are many different reasons we fall behind on housekeeping tasks as we age. These include mobility problems, mental health issues, cognitive problems, and medical conditions. Yet, these issues do not make keeping a clean and tidy home any less important. For example, a cluttered home can be a fire hazard and can increase the likelihood of falls. A dirty home, of course, raises sanitary concerns.
While many of these consequences are relevant to all age groups, some have more serious effects as we age. As you may know, our immune systems become weaker as we age – which is just one reason keeping a clean home should still be a high priority. Germs in the kitchen from food, on surfaces and on kitchen gadgets can lead to catching the flu, the common cold, or food borne illnesses.
One top concern for those with a parent that lives alone is their likelihood of falling. Items that are not put where they belong and instead placed on the floor can increase the chance of falling. Falls become more serious as we age and can result in a loss of independence, chronic pain, and reduced quality of life.
How to Help Aging Parents with Housekeeping
It is important to note that your parent(s) might take your offer of help in different ways. While you might believe they need help with housekeeping, they might feel bad about receiving help from you.There are many different ways that you can help your parent(s) with housekeeping that keeps your budget, their needs, and your time restrictions in mind.
- You can offer to help them with spring cleaning
Along with improving the health and safety of your loved one, a decluttered, clean home can reduce their stress and anxiety levels. Although they may know cleaning is important, they may feel overwhelmed, or as discussed above, face barriers that keep them doing so.
In addition to helping your loved one clean their home, getting rid of clutter may also be necessary. Decluttering can be a difficult task for your aging loved one(s) to do alone, so help may be appreciated. However, having the right attitude when handling these tasks is crucial. If your loved one feels pressured to get rid of things, they can put the task on hold.
- Do a bit of housekeeping each visit
Do you regularly check-in on a parent? If so, consider making a few chores part of every visit. This will make upkeep more manageable, and your loved one will feel less guilty when cleaning chores don’t take up your whole visit. You will get to spend time with your loved one and will feel better about improving their living environment.
Some things that you can do include:
- Get rid of expired food
- Run the dishwasher/put dishes away
- Wipe/disinfect kitchen surfaces
- Take the garbage out
- Clear cluttered surfaces by putting items back or throwing them away
- Get some help
Although you might live far away or have a busy schedule, you may still be interested in providing support. Instead of lending a hand yourself, there is another option – you can hire a professional cleaning service. If a parent is unable to clean and you are concerned about dirt piling up over time, consider setting up a recurring cleaning schedule. Our residential cleaning service, for example, offers monthly, bi-weekly, and daily cleaning options. One of the benefits of this option is it allows you to get the most out of the time you have with your loved one.
Although it is easy to get caught up in accomplishing everything on our own to-do lists, we cannot forget how important it is and how good it feels to lend a helping hand when possible.