For seniors, keeping their home clean and neat can be an overwhelming and daunting task. Many times, they cannot keep up with housekeeping duties and can become upset or frustrated when their home in not up to par with what it used to be. Especially if they are at risk of injury or falling, performing housekeeping duties is not something they should be doing.
We’ve compiled a few tips on how to approach housekeeping with your loved one:
- Make a checklist: Sit down with your loved one and make a list of everything they want to accomplish. It doesn’t mean they have to do it all, but it lets you, as a caregiver, see everything that they would like done.
- Make a schedule: If you create a daily routine (link) for your senior, include light housekeeping duties in their daily schedule. That way, something is getting done every day which will help your loved one feel that the housekeeping is getting done, without feeling overwhelmed.
- De-clutter, then clean: Part of aging, is that we tend to accumulate stuff. Clutter in the home can be dangerous if it creates a tripping hazard, so going through and declutter the home should be a priority. Don’t force them to get rid of anything they don’t want to, but simply go through piles that could be causing trouble.
- A room a day: Make housekeeping less overwhelming by sticking to a room per day schedule. Giving your senior a clear goal for each day is beneficial
- Involve others: Make cleaning a family affair and enlist the help of other friends and family. If there are not friends or family around to help, you can reach out to professional services that will come into your loved one’s home to help with light housekeeping duties. This will alleviate stress for both of you.
- Keep your loved one involved: Even if they can’t do much, give them small, accomplishable tasks that will make them feel helpful.
- Keep safety in mind: Housekeeping gives you the opportunity to make sure the house they are in is safe. This includes checking smoke detectors, light bulbs, throwing out expired foods or medicines, etc.
One of the first signs that your loved one needs help is if their housekeeping skills start to diminish. Approaching them about housekeeping can be difficult, but if you create a plan and involve them in the process, it can have a very positive outcome. If the housekeeping is becoming too difficult for you or your loved one to stay on top of, you can always look for outside help to step in and relieve some of those duties.