Having a healthy home cleaning and maintenance schedule is essential for senior citizens. According to WebMD, our immune system gets weaker with age, which means that living in an unclean environment is not good for the elderly. For instance, a home that’s full of collected dust particles and dirty surfaces creates an environment where germs and bacteria thrive, which becomes extremely risky for seniors. Additionally, a disorganized environment that’s full of clutter increases the risk that someone can fall and injure themselves.
For senior citizens, a simple fall can easily result in bones breaking, which leads to a long and painful recovery process. What’s more, excessive clutter and mess can be hugely distracting, which has a negative impact on your loved one’s mental health. As such, to avoid all these adverse scenarios, it’s best to have a home cleaning and maintenance schedule that your loved one or a caregiver can follow. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Organize the Medicine Cabinet
According to MSD manuals, nearly 90% of the aging population takes at least one prescription drug regularly, with as much as 35% of this population taking a minimum of five different prescription drugs. So, it’s hardly surprising that if you check the medicine cabinet in homes where senior citizens reside, there will be an assortment of medicines there. If the medicine cabinet is not properly organized, it can quickly become a mess, which increases the risk of a medicine-related accident. That’s why it’s crucial to clean and organize the medicine cabinet and make it a regular part of your home cleaning and maintenance schedule.
If your loved one requires medical services, whether, for chronic pain management or another issue, it’s important that they be able to keep track of their medications. Having an organized medicine cabinet makes it easy to keep track of a prescription supply. It prevents mix-ups because if the cabinet is full of similar expired medication, it’s easy to take the wrong medication. Hence, all old products and medicines should be disposed of, and it’s important to check expiration dates regularly. Keep in mind that there’s a proper way to dispose of
medication that’s potentially harmful to the environment, so always ask your pharmacists about this before getting rid of old and expired medicine.
Dust and Vacuum Regularly
The elderly also need to work on keeping the surfaces of their homes clean, which means dusting and vacuuming regularly. If senior citizens prefer vacuuming on their own, then it’s good to invest in a lightweight vac. That’s because a lightweight vacuum is so much easier to handle and does not require one to exert a lot of effort. Additionally, a lightweight vacuum that’s compact can fit in a smaller space. If your loved one has mobility issues, using a lightweight vacuum is ideal as it’s less likely they will experience pain and difficulty. When dusting, the best tool is a microfiber hand duster, and common areas include all exposed surfaces. Some ductwork cleaning might also be necessary.
Here’s a pro tip to keep in mind: If the insulation in the home is old, you might want to look for companies that specialize in old insulation removals. That’s because when insulation gets old, it starts breaking down into small particles that can easily circulate in the air as dust. These particles make it harder to keep surfaces dust-free.
Clean Out the Fridge
A healthy balanced diet is a crucial part of living a happy life in every person’s golden age. For seniors, special care has to be taken to make it easier to eat well. For instance, if the refrigerator is full of expired and moldy food, there’s a need to create a home cleaning and maintenance schedule that includes cleaning the fridge frequently. A fridge that’s full of contaminated leftovers and expired, inedible food increases the risk of food poisoning and illness. In addition, surviving on barely edible foods can lead to malnutrition, which can seriously threaten the health of senior citizens.
If cleaning the fridge is not part of a regular home cleaning and maintenance schedule, it’s all too easy for things to get out of hand. In situations where things have already gotten out of hand, then the order can be restored by getting rid of rotten food and disposing of it in sealed trash bags. The fridge should be cleaned thoroughly, one storage area at a time, and every surface must be deep cleaned. To make life easier in the future, it may be better to create a system where perishable foods are thrown out at specific intervals. Foods like fruits and vegetables may be a vital part of a healthy and balanced diet, but they rarely have a long shelf life. Therefore, it’s good to schedule a time to clean out the fridge from time to time.
Take Care of the Laundry
Another important chore that’s important to ensure the homes of senior citizens stay fresh and clean. Fortunately, there are washing machines to do the heavy lifting, but there are some things that need to be done, such as sorting and folding clothes. When aging in place, having all the right amenities makes it easier to stick to a cleaning and laundry schedule. For example, having a dedicated and easily accessible room makes it easier to transport the loads that need to be washed. If your loved one has mobility issues, consider investing in a small cart or rolling table for extra convenience when transporting piles of laundry around the house. You can also invest in a rolling hamper to get clothes easily to the laundry room when it’s clothes-washing day.
Taking care of the laundry on a regular schedule offers several benefits. It ensures that your loved one can maintain good grooming even when they’re aging in place. They will always have clean clothes to wear, a fresh supply of towels, and clean sheets and bed linen to sleep on. The problem with clothing or linen that’s not clean is that it can irritate the skin. Having clean laundry at all times helps keep senior citizens healthy.
Cleaning and Maintenance Tips to Remember
There’s more to creating a home cleaning and maintenance schedule for the aging population, but the essentials have been covered so far. It also helps to keep some tips in mind, especially for senior citizens that want to be independent. It’s good for senior citizens to retain their independence as long as they can because it keeps them limber and gives them a zest for life. After all, age is just a number, and there are many senior citizens that go to college, drive themselves and change tires without calling a towing company or even visiting orthodontic specialists so they can start wearing braces and have a beautiful smile. The point is, as long as the senior citizen is fit and healthy, there’s nothing stopping them from cleaning their home or performing a wide range of activities.
In that case, it’s advised that elderly people work on decluttering their homes. Let’s say you have a loved one who’s choosing to age in place. Chances are they have already lived in their home for a long time, and it’s a familiar place with sentimental value. At this point, there’s also a chance they have accumulated a lot of possessions over the years, most of which no longer serve them. Decluttering is important because a home that’s full of items is harder to clean and has more nooks and crannies. Therefore, it’s better to encourage your loved one to get rid of unwanted or unnecessary possessions that are taking up space without adding value. They can either donate or toss the items, leaving their home free of clutter.
More tips to keep in mind include using gentle and safe cleaning products. You’ll find that many store-bought cleaners contain harmful chemicals which can be harmful because they release noxious fumes and contain corrosive chemicals. These can cause issues when inhaled or if they come in contact with the skin. According to Cleveland Clinic, some of these harmful chemicals include ammonia, ethylene glycol monobutyl acetate, and sodium hypochlorite. It’s better to avoid cleaners that contain these chemicals and rely on natural cleaning products like baking soda, white vinegar, and lemons. Additionally, technology makes the home cleaning and maintenance process easier than ever.
There are now smart cleaning tools that are highly convenient, like robotic vacuum cleaners that do the work on their own. While cleaning is generally not a hazardous activity, senior citizens still have to exercise some caution. For instance, when cleaning, they should avoid moving bulky items or trying to lift heavy items as much as possible. To avoid the need to move heavy appliances and furniture, it’s better to invest in cleaning tools with extendable handles. These are handy for those hard-to-reach areas. Also, you should encourage your loved ones to vacuum instead of sweeping, as it cleans surfaces more thoroughly, removing dust, pollen, pet hair, and other pollutants quickly and efficiently. Vacuuming and using tools with extendable handles also eliminates the need to bend. This is helpful for senior citizens with mobility issues.
Is There a Need for a Professional Cleaning Service?
The truth for most people is that although regularly cleaning the environment is necessary and beneficial, it’s still a chore nevertheless. So, while it’s good for your loved ones to want to be independent and want to clean up after themselves, this is not always feasible. It’s easy for senior citizens to easily get overwhelmed trying to stick to a home cleaning and maintenance schedule on their own, especially if they have mobility issues. This is not an issue because there are professional cleaners that provide specialist services for the aging population. It’s good to seek professional help for something we are not well equipped to deal with.
For instance, if your car breaks down, your search for auto body services. If you’re involved in an accident, you look for the best car accident attorneys; and if you’re planning a memorial, you look for suitable gravestone companies; and so on and so forth. Similarly, if you have got a home cleaning and maintenance schedule for senior citizens, you can hire a professional cleaning company to execute it for you.
If your loved one still wants to remain involved in the process, we suggest giving them small tasks, such as light dusting and sorting out clothes while seated. The good news is that there’s a wide range of services designed to improve the quality of senior citizens. For example, if your loved one needs transportation to their orthodontic peer support group or help to make healthy meals, there are professional services that can cater to their needs.
There are several benefits of housekeeping and home cleaning services for the elderly. It ensures that senior citizens have a clean and sanitized environment that prevents the spread of viruses and bacteria. A clean and safe haven is also important for the elderly because it helps reduce the risk of accidents. It also promotes social interaction if your loved one has a friendly housekeeper to keep them company. Senior citizens with mobility issues may not be able to get out as much, so they will appreciate having a friend who helps clean their homes.
Regular cleaning creates a healthy environment where seniors can thrive and age in place. That’s why it’s good to have an effective home cleaning and maintenance schedule. The tips mentioned above in this article will be helpful for a senior citizen or caregiver who’s looking for a straightforward way to keep their immediate environment spruced up. Keep in mind that since your loved one has unique needs and their home is also unique, this home cleaning and maintenance schedule can be flexible and should be used as a guideline. This is important as there might be a need to accommodate unplanned situations and changing circumstances. The main goal is to have a tailored home cleaning and maintenance schedule that meets the needs and preferences of your loved one.