Spring cleaning represents more than just dusting off the cobwebs; the process of caring for a home is also a valuable component of caregiving. A person’s home is often tied up in their identity and sense of self, so any attention and care given to someone’s home also extends to the individuals living there. The way a home is cleaned also matters. Cleaners that contain harsh chemicals or a hurried job that doesn’t eliminate dirt and grime below the surface can be harmful to a person’s health.
Seniors and people with disabilities who are living at home often need to rely on their family members and home caregivers to take care of the cleaning. This is an opportunity for caregivers to evaluate any potential problem areas that have been overlooked as well as freshen up the home. With these spring cleaning home care tips, a little housekeeping will go a long way in creating a space for optimal health and wellness.
1. Make a List
When it comes to spring cleaning, leave no stone unturned! Without a checklist, certain areas of the home can get overlooked. This is especially true for things that do not get cleaned very often, such as heaters and vents. To really ensure that you don’t miss anything, make the list and check it twice. The senior being cared for, a family member, or a fellow caregiver can look the list over, too. Once the list has been organized, it is best to schedule times for the spring cleaning. Seniors who have dementia or cognitive impairments may get caught off guard by a change in routine, so do your best to inform them of any upcoming housekeeping work. Scheduling will also allow you to plan ahead and pick up the necessary supplies.
2. Be Safe
Spring cleaning may seem light and airy, but it can be dangerous work. Don’t let the breeziness of the term fool you. Taking steps to wear the appropriate safety gear, such as gloves, can prevent injuries such as chemical burns and splinters. A particle mask is a good way to protect your lungs from dust and germs. It is also wise to use natural cleaning products when possible. More and more reports come out every year about the dangerous health effects of certain chemical-based cleaners, and seniors can be at particular risk due to compromised immune systems and other sensitivities.
3. Aim for Teamwork
Chores may not seem like a fun thing to propose, but home caregivers can ask the seniors in their care if they would like to assist with the cleaning. Helping with light housekeeping can help seniors feel useful and can create a sense of pride and accomplishment. Just be sure to keep things safe, to work alongside one another, and to remain aware and take breaks if things become overwhelming. If seniors do not want to help, that’s okay too! Honor boundaries that are set and involve seniors in ways that benefit both parties.
4. Dig in Deep
Spring cleaning is a time to roll up your sleeves and dig in deep. Surface cleaning is best done at least a weekly basis, but spring cleaning should be all about the deep clean. This may mean enlisting some help. For example, while cleaning under the sink, a caregiver may notice that there is a leak and will need to hire a plumber. Remember that it’s okay to not be able to fix everything all on your own — that’s what professionals are for.
5. Check for Hazards
Spring cleaning is also an opportunity to check for any overlooked hazards or problem areas that may have arisen since the last deep clean. Cluttered gutters, stacks of paper, loose area rugs, and clogged pipes are examples of things that can be quite disastrous if not taken care of in a timely manner. In California, house fires and earthquake protection are of particular concern. For instance, a caregiver may notice that the senior in their care often sits near a heavy bookcase that is not bolted into the wall, which could result in a fatal accident if an earthquake were to occur. While spring cleaning, check for hazards and make a list of things that are in need of improvement or repair.
Do You Need a Home Caregiver?
Spring cleaning is just one of the things with which a home caregiver can assist. Home caregivers help in a variety of ways. They perform daily tasks such as running errands, they complete household chores, and they perform intimate tasks such as personal hygiene. They are also responsible for monitoring, managing, and trying to improve upon the health and well-being of their clients. Alegre Home Care understands that coming into your home is a privilege and we must earn your trust and confidence. All caregivers complete a thorough reference check, criminal background check, complete competency exams, and conduct a personal individual interview. Reach out to Alegre Home Care with any questions and we’ll be happy to assist!