5 Tips for Helping a Senior Clean

September 29, 2017

There’s no wrong time to declutter and clean in spring, summer, fall, or winter. Whether you’re a primary caregiver or your parent or loved one is in an assisted living community, you may have noticed the senior in your life has acquired quite a collection of things over time. And those who live independently may neglect cleaning in general, as it can be physically and mentally tiring. That’s where others come in to help. Here are a few tips on how to help a senior clean house:

1. Make a To-Do List

Once you’ve noticed your parent or loved one’s home needs some tidying or a deep clean, take stock of what needs most. If you’re ready to embark on a thorough cleaning journey to clear out your loved one’s living space for good, add deep cleaning tasks to your list of things to do. These may include window washing, steam cleaning furniture, scrubbing out the oven, and other intensive tasks.

For those not quite up for such an undertaking, list areas that need regular cleaning, ranking spaces from most frequently used to least frequently used for your loved one. You can start with the kitchen, then move on to the living room, bathroom, and bedroom.

Find Senior Living Near Me


2. Declutter Before Cleaning

Most homes need decluttering, but it’s especially important for seniors. Clutter can create dangerous tripping hazards and mental stress that can strain seniors with or without memory-loss issues.

Clutter also makes cleaning a much harder task. Old papers on a desk prevent easy dusting, as do collections of figurines on an end table near the couch. Your loved one doesn’t have to get rid of everything, but if you can help them part with objects that no longer bring them happiness or serve a purpose, it will make cleaning and maintaining tidiness easier over time.

3. Set Aside a Full Day

Cleaning the house takes time, especially when the person living in the home has mobility issues or low energy levels, which prevents them from regular cleaning. Consider the fact that you may have to move a couch that hasn’t been moved in years to sweep or vacuum and that you may encounter dirt in spots that aren’t often used.

Pay special attention to areas that collect dust or mold. Dust and pet hair can exacerbate allergies and asthma, and mold can do the same, causing itchy throats and eyes or even skin irritation. Removing mold from bathtubs or near the kitchen sink may require some dedicated time, and in addition to decluttering, a full house or apartment cleaning can take several hours. Give yourself enough time to do the job well—in other words, it may be best to set aside a full day to clean.

4. Give Your Loved Ones Low-Impact Tasks

Seniors with mobility issues won’t be able to help you carry heavy bags of trash to the garbage can, but they may help with cleaning in other ways. In addition to achieving a clean space, your loved one will feel useful and will also retain a sense of control over their space.

For example, while you’re doing the heavy lifting around the house, seniors can sort through their papers to throw out or go through their collection of mementos, deciding what to keep and cleaning any dust while sitting in a chair or on the couch. They can also sort through clothes while sitting – collect your loved one’s clothing and bring it to them on the couch to sort through. Provide them with a garbage bag to dispose of clothing items they’re ready to part with.

5. Make it a Group Activity

If you’re a primary caregiver, you already do a lot alone. When it comes time to clean and tidy, enlist the help of other family members. The work will go twice (or three times) as fast, and you can also make it more of a social event for the senior in your life.

You can split assignments between groups, assigning the more rigorous tasks by room. One person can take the kitchen while another tackles the bathroom. You can also decide that one person will focus on decluttering closets and the living room while the other cleans less crowded areas.

If you’re more focused on decluttering or if purging items from the house will take several days, you can also consider hiring a cleaning service to deep clean areas. You’re probably capable of deep cleaning the bathroom, but you can also hire someone for two or three hours to clean those spaces professionally while you help dust, sort, and sweep the house.

Related Posts

View All News

July 1, 2024

Boxing Up a Lifetime of Memories

  If we’re lucky enough, our parents will stay around for years to come. That can also mean that you might be helping mom, dad, or both shop for senior living. While finding the perfect senior living that we can trust feels like a tricky process, the next challenge is helping them clean out their […]

Read More

June 25, 2024

Choosing Care You Can Count On!

  Finding the perfect senior living residence can be complex. If you live in a highly populated area, there may be many choices available to fit your needs. Some people like shiny new buildings, while others prefer a quaint apartment with modest amenities where they can access healthcare quickly. Everyone has a different wish list, […]

Read More

June 12, 2024

The Right Diagnosis Means the World!

After helping seniors and their families find peace of mind through senior living services for the last 25 years, Sales and Public Relations Director Shannon Conroy at Edgewood in Minot recently had an incredibly eye-opening experience of her own with her father, Don. She hopes that sharing their story will help encourage others to strongly […]

Read More

June 3, 2024

Honoring the Longest Day 2024

  Summer sunshine brings us warmth, patio chairs, lake days, golf, picnics, and fond memories. One of the more memorable days is on the summer solstice, The Longest Day, which will be June 20th this year. It’s the day that provides the most sunlight of the entire year and also a day to raise awareness […]

Read More