After a long winter, spring has very much come into its own – which means that spring cleaning time has arrived. While many people, including home caregivers, may view the annual ritual with dread, a thorough house cleaning can improve the lives of senior loved ones – especially if they are involved in the cleaning.
In fact, cleanliness year round is important to many seniors, not just during the “big spring clean.” Of course, older ones want to live in tidy environments, and proper cleanliness is important for purely hygienic reasons. However, a recent study also indicates that playing a part in house cleaning and keeping outside property looking nice often provides an emotional and physical boost for senior citizens.
Part of the reason that seniors benefit from is clear. As anyone who regularly cleans a house can testify, housework is hard work! When seniors take a hand in vacuuming, washing dishes, doing laundry, gardening, or any other of dozens of household chores, they engage in physical exercise. Getting out of a recliner and onto one’s feet, gently and carefully stretching and using muscles that don’t normally get used, and getting blood circulating can all have health benefits.
Equally important is the emotional component to cleaning a house. A Case Western Reserve University study found that home cleanliness and physical appearance of property was more important to senior study participants than neighborhood or income level. In other words, having a presentable home of which they could be proud was an important factor in seniors’ overall sense of well-being.
Many home caregivers know this intuitively, but sometimes need reminders. Maybe the next time Mother is feeling blue, spend some time together neatening the living room or pulling a few weeds from the front garden.