One of the difficulties we face as we age is seeing and smelling the dust, dirt and general debris. Sensory decline in older adults increases clutter potential.
Make a distinction between light housekeeping and general housekeeping and deep cleaning services. Make a push for twice a year deep cleaning to your older or physically challenged clients.
For someone who is aging, especially those who are unfamiliar with housekeeping services, they may think “light housekeeping’ is good enough. But it really isn’t. Light housekeeping services which are often provided as part of in- home care provider contracts, are just that. Light! Contracted Caregivers don’t seek to do more than is in their required contract. They may in fact be discouraged due to liability limits to do more.
Deep cleaning which involves lifting or moving the heavy furniture (to vacuum the carpet or floor below), dusting the heating or air vents and baseboards, is a household chore that needs to be done at least semi- annually.
Another area to observe for deep cleaning is the computer desk and television corner. Older PC’s and TV monitors are notorious dust bunny attractors. Fans and air vent areas need to be checked and cleaned for dust build up.
Cleaning out the refrigerator is also a deep cleaning chore. In fact this is not an easy service to find help for. Deep cleaning a refrigerator can take an hours worth of time. Light housecleaning services do not offer or desire to provide this helpful service. Often this is because they don’t want to get into a battle with the homeowner about good food and bad. Reaching into the back or bottom of a refrigerator is not an easy job. Many refrigerators have various parts that need removal for deep cleaning and putting them back together is often a puzzle.
In-home servce intake providers (often LCSW) or professional organizers need to start serving as educators. At the onset of client work state firmly that a household will need to get some additional cleaning services in order to keep the house clean and safe, not only for the client but for the contracted caregivers.