Family caregivers often live fast-paced, hectic days. Juggling a busy career with the needs of a family and a senior loved one can make projects like spring cleaning feel overwhelming. If your budget won’t extend to hiring outside help, getting organized so you can work more efficiently is important.
Here are some suggestions you might find useful.
Spring Cleaning the Kitchen
Kitchens are some of the busiest rooms in the house. This can make it hard to keep them clean. Take time this spring to do the following:
- Wipe the cabinets down inside and out
- Take everything out of the refrigerator, wipe it down, and check expiration dates on condiments, dressings, and other items
- Inspect and clean the oven with a fume-free, easy-to-use oven cleaner
- Change the exhaust system on the range to reduce the risk of fire
- Empty everything out of the pantry and dispose of items that have been around too long
Bathroom Spring Cleaning Tips
While most of us clean the bathroom on a regular basis, it also needs a little extra attention a few times each year.
- Change the liner on the shower curtain and wash the curtain
- Scrub the bathtub and shower and replace the bath mat if necessary
- Sort through the medicine cabinet and safely dispose of no-longer-used or expired medications
- Clean out the linen closet and donate older linens (especially towels) to a local animal shelter
- Deep clean the toilet and floor surrounding it
Deep Clean a Senior's Bedroom
Take some extra time to clean the bedroom your senior loved one uses most often:
- Wash the curtains, bedding, blankets, mattress cover, and rugs
- Use a product specifically designed for quick cleaning of miniblinds to remove dust and grime
- Find a strong helper to assist you in flipping and wiping down the mattress and box spring
- Use spring cleaning as an excuse to encourage your senior loved one to sort through their closet and donate items they no longer wear
Spring Cleaning Living Areas
Books, magazines, newspapers, and other clutter build up in living rooms over time. Make sure you de-clutter the room before you start cleaning. Box up items you need to drop off at your local recycling center.
Then tackle deep cleaning tasks like these:
- Dust woodwork and window frames
- Use a long-handled duster to clean ceiling fans and lighting fixtures
- Wipe down the television and other electronics
- Vacuum under the sofa, as well as over and under sofa cushions
As you and your senior loved one work your way through the house, use the time to discuss how happy they are with their current living environment. They might be struggling more than you realize.
Beginning “The Talk” About Moving to Senior Living
The topic of moving to a senior living community can be a tough one to tackle. Adult children often put it off for far too long because they just can't bring themselves to discuss it with a parent.
Completing household tasks together can give you an opportunity to casually ask if it is becoming too difficult for your parent to remain in their own home. Or you could mention how a coworker’s parent recently moved to senior living and how much they love it. Emphasize how they now have more time to enjoy outings and activities since all of the housekeeping is done for them.
Watch your senior loved one's face to see how they respond to this idea. Remember that your parent isn't likely to agree to immediately make a move, but planting the seed may get them thinking about it.