Whether you view it as the welcome passing of the cold weather or a chance to get out and about in the sun, spring is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. With this in mind, a great springtime activity is spring cleaning, where you finally tackle those pesky tidying and cleaning tasks that you (quite literally) swept under the rug in the winter.
But for elderly people who have poor mobility, spring cleaning might have become unmanageable – especially when it comes to taking down the curtains or clearing out high-up cupboards. However, this shouldn’t mean it is neglected, as this springtime ritual provides several benefits other than having a spotless abode; it’s a great chance for you to evaluate the safety of your loved one’s home, plus their quality of life, and therefore identify if any assistance is needed.
And don’t forget, the more the merrier! Why not recruit other family and friends to tackle the task together? Who knows what family treasures and trinkets you might unearth – and who doesn’t love looking at old photographs?
So throw open those windows, grab a duster and get cleaning! Check out our six top tips below for tackling the spring cleaning with ease.
1. Create a checklist
Embark on your spring-cleaning mission with a clear plan, with priorities at the top of the list. Remember, this is a perfect opportunity to spend time with your elderly relative, so by sitting down together and creating a cleaning ‘hitlist’, you can make them feel involved at every step. Traditional spring-cleaning tasks are organisation, mopping and vacuuming, but there are other things to consider, such as cleaning out the fridge, checking fire alarms and changing light bulbs.
2. Cut the clutter
Clutter is not just unsightly, but it also poses a safety risk for older people. However, taking the plunge into getting rid of possessions can be tough, as elderly people’s houses are often full of a lifetime of memories. Work together to create a system to keep the most treasured things and donate less sentimental items to charity.
3. A chance to reorganise
Spring cleaning is the ideal time to get organised. Gather together any important documents you come across as you clean – you never know when your relative might need them. This might also be a good chance to rearrange certain areas of the home to make them more accessible for your older relative, and make sure that important documents are close at hand.
4. Safety checks
Use your cleaning and organising session to test any safety precautions in your loved one’s home. Test emergency devices like fire and carbon monoxide detectors, check that their emergency response system is easily accessible and make sure stairlifts and grab bars are working correctly. You should also check that their medication is ‘in date’.
5. Hygiene is key
When spring cleaning, you might notice signs that your loved one is struggling to take care of themselves. We’re not talking about being able to dust on top of their cabinets, but if they appear to not be bathing regularly or wearing clean clothes, then it might be time to discuss getting a little extra help in the home. At Unique Senior Care, we can help with this.
6. Involve your loved one
We’ve previously written a lot about the problem of loneliness in the older generation, and a key part of tackling this is making elderly relatives feel involved – even if they can’t physically help. When spring cleaning, no matter what their limitations are, your elderly loved one will be able to provide useful information about what they want to keep and how their mobility could be improved by moving furniture. They can also help by sorting paperwork or doing light cleaning tasks.
How we can help
If spring cleaning reveals that your loved one is struggling with their current living conditions, we can help. At Unique Senior Care, we specialise in the non-medical care of older people in their own homes. By providing the support to help manage the challenges daily life can pose, we can therefore help our clients to maintain their independence.
Our homecare services including light housekeeping, washing, ironing, dusting, vacuuming, making beds and more. If you are interested in arranging home help for a loved one, get in touch to discuss your needs further.