Everyone benefits from a clean house, but house cleaning can be especially important for seniors. As people age, they may have less stamina and mobility and less energy to do cleaning chores around the house. Limited vision can be an issue, too. Yet a clean home can become even more essential for your elderly relatives.
Health and safety
Falls are one of the most serious issues for elderly people. More than one quarter of Americans over 65 have a fall each year, and 20% of those falls result in injuries. Falls often stem from clutter on the floor, insecure rugs, cables in walking paths, or spills. Elderly family members may fear falling even if they have never fallen, and this can lead to less active lifestyles, with resulting health effects. A clean and tidy home reduces the danger.
Many older people have weaker immune systems, too, and may be more vulnerable to illnesses. Cleanliness can help to reduce contagious diseases and food borne illnesses. If you have elderly relatives, you might need to help them check the expiration dates on food to avoid eating things that are no longer safe. Often, the “Best used by” dates on food packages are very small and hard for older people to read.
Regular dusting and vacuuming can be important for respiratory health at any age. Lung function can be weaker in elderly people, and allergic reactions to dust and animal dander are common. At the same time, the process of dusting and vacuuming may cause allergic reactions, especially if dust or mold have built up in the home.
Healthcare experts tell us that older people are threatened by loneliness, too. Social isolation is correlated with anxiety and depression, obesity, chronic diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease, and even with an increased risk of dementia. Older relatives who can’t keep up with housecleaning may hesitate to invite friends over and can end up isolated.
Having a clean, orderly home can help your loved ones feel more free to have visitors. This kind of connection with the community can make a difference to mental and physical health.
This problem can become a vicious circle. People whose homes are dirty and disorderly are more likely to feel depressed and anxious, and that can cause them to feel less capable of caring for their home and less likely to make that effort. Depression and shame can lead to greater isolation.
Older adults who have a clean home are more likely to be able to continue living independently than those who can’t keep up with their housework. That doesn’t mean that they have to do their own housework — or that you have to take on cleaning chores for your elderly relatives.
A professional cleaning service is the solution. Regular professional cleaning can be an important tool in keeping your elderly parents and other loved ones safe, healthy, and happy as they age.