How to Help Your Loved One With Spring Cleaning

4/15/2016

cleaning
Happy spring from Wink Martini! I don’t know about you, but I have been very busy with spring cleaning lately. I thought I could do it all in one weekend, but it ended up taking weeks! Between the dusting, and washing, and organizing, (and a few martinis), there is just so much to do! If it’s taking me this long, I can’t imagine if my folks will ever get done with their chores. I’m thinking they could use a hand, and I am happy to offer one! So today we’ll talk about what you can do to help your elderly loved one with spring cleaning.

Do a Recon

Before you show up with a bucket full cleaning supplies, visit your loved one to see if the help is needed (and wanted!). If you’ve hired a Maryland caregiver to help your mom or pops with daily tasks, they probably do basic housekeeping. So the place may already be pretty clean and organized, and doesn’t need much work.

If your loved one lives on their own without a caregiver, now is a good time to see if they could use one. Is the house messy and things are hard to find? Are there boxes, bins and clutter everywhere, making it hard to maneuver? This could be a sign that your mom or pops aren’t keeping up with the chores as they used to.

Before the end of your visit, offer your loved one help “putting some shine on this place” in the spirit of spring cleaning. You don’t want it sound like they are incapable of keeping their home clean. And you also don’t want to act in charge and make them feel forced to accept your offer. It’s a thin line between being helpful and overbearing, so choose your word wisely!

Make a List

If your loved one accepts your offer, start by making a list of everything that needs to be done. Will you just focus on the essentials like dusting and putting away winter clothes? Or will you go all the way with washing windows, shampooing carpets and cleaning under the fridge (yuck!)? Decide on the scope, and this will help you determine how many people you will need. If it’s a big house, it may make sense to get your kids to help with the chores. Whatever you settle on, be sure to assign some chores to your loved one, so that they don’t feel left out.

Organize

Have your loved one take a fresh look at where they store things. Chances are, they still put things where they used to 10 years ago. But does it make sense for their current age and physical limitations? For example, a heating pad might have been a rarely used item kept in the back of a bathroom closet. But now it’s used more frequently, so why not move it closer to the bed or the favorite armchair?

Your loved one should be actively involved in organizing, because it affects them directly. Have them make the key decisions, and help by moving things around and rearranging. However, if your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia, moving things around may not be a good idea. Change in a routine can be stressful and disorienting, so you may want to consult with their doctor first.

Make Space

Does your loved one really need all that stuff in their house? True, it can be hard to part with items that have memories attached to them. But these items could be getting in the way, causing a tripping hazard, or blocking access to items your loved one actually needs. It’s the same with my martini glasses. I have probably 10 of them, yet I only use one, maybe 4 if I have people over. Meanwhile, these 10 glasses are sitting in my kitchen cabinet, make it hard to reach my coffee cups, and just, honestly, being a waste of space.

Talk to your loved one about their challenges of getting around the house. Maybe it’s time to sell that oversized couch and buy a smaller one, so that there is more space to move. If it looks like your loved one may have a mild hoarding problem, it may be worth talking to a specialist to get help.

Think your loved one could use a caregiver’s help to keep their place tidy on a daily basis? Give 2nd Family a call or contact us online for a consultation!

 

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