If you are a caregiver and you take care of older people, you probably know that cleaning their homes can be quite a challenge. No matter if you are helping seniors outside your family or you are assisting your older parents, you know that helping out with cleaning and organising the house regularly is a great act of kindness that will be highly appreciated for sure. However, older people are often very sentimental about the things they possess and keep to remind them of the time they were young and happy (not they are not happy now, but they often love to transform their houses into keepsake boxes) and going through all the clutter and tossing out everything useless can be quite a pain. Remember that pressuring people to say goodbye to things they are bonded with and they feel very sentimental about is not the best you can do. After all, every human being has the right to feel comfort, safety and happiness in between the four walls of their homes at least. With that being said, older people still need your help, energy and enthusiasm to sort out things and ensure convenience, cleanliness and tidiness, so be sure to take your time, be patient and take care of the chaotic environment and the piles of useless items that can even provide risks and lack of safety for aging people.

When you are ready to tackle cleaning and organising senior’s house (and mostly when you are asked to do so, because once again, you don’t have the right pressuring people to do something they don’t want to), here is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step checklist:

  • Inspect the freezer/refrigerator and if you find expired or bad food, be sure to ask if you can throw it away. Expired food can be dangerous for older people and cause a number of conditions and discomfort.
  • Inspect and search for outdated medications, other health and beauty products and expired cleaning products, since these can be highly dangerous when out of date and the senior can even not understand that he/she is using something outdated.
  • Clear objects of stairways and walkways to ensure these highly used areas are easy to access, easy to use and safe. Old people’s mobility is often reduced and this is an important step to pay attention to.
  • Make sure that handrails are securely anchored to walls, that all carpets are secured to the ground and rugs lay flat on the ground. That way you reduce the risk of barriers and obstacles on the way of people with reduced mobility.
  • Wash soiled and dirty bedding, pillowcases, pillows and mattresses and if this doesn’t help – replace them, if you are allowed to. Remember that a big amount of the allergens, bacteria and dust around the house are hiding exactly in and on the bed. Mould can be very dangerous too, causing a number of irritations and allergies.
  • Next step – clean mould and mildew in the bathroom. Make sure to use products that do not only kill the mould but prevent it from growing again.
  • Look for water damage, leaks and mould around the house and fix these if you happen to find some.
  • Wash, or if needed and if you are allowed replace old and very dirty curtains, blinds and draperies.
  • The amount of dust that is accumulated on the walls, ceiling, ceiling fans and corners of the room can cause serious respiratory problems with time, so be sure these are dusted and washed properly.