Spring Cleaning Safety Tips for Seniors

In the spring, not much beats the feeling of deep cleaning from floor to ceiling.

But as we age, certain medical conditions or physical limitations might change just how much we can put into our regular spring-cleaning routine.

Chores like climbing ladders to clean the gutters, getting down on the floor to scrub some grout, or even pulling weeds in the garden can result in short- and long-term injury if we’re not careful or if we don’t ask for help.

When to ask for help

Maybe you’re just completely over doing these kinds of tasks around the house, and you’d rather just hire help or a trusted friend or relative to come over and do the work for you. That’s great! You’ve embraced retirement life to the fullest! (Way to #GrowBolder!)

Or maybe you do have a health concern that has you feeling a little uneasy about using a ladder this year. Some common medical concerns that may limit our abilities to do heavy chores are:

  • Heart conditions
  • Dizziness
  • Balance issues
  • Memory concerns
  • Poor hearing or vision
  • Certain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
  • Common issues like arthritis, osteoporosis and orthostatic hypotension

Just because we are older than we once were doesn’t mean we can’t participate in spring cleaning activities! We’re not just older, but also wiser, which means we know that hiring or asking for assistance is the first step in creating a safe spring-cleaning routine.

Here are spring cleaning safety tips for those of us who still want to participate in the seasonal activities but may not be as physically capable as we once were.

Lighten the load

First off, there’s a difference between light housework and the heavy-duty chores we often embark upon as part of our spring-cleaning rituals. Cleaning out gutters, removing storm windows, scrubbing grout are all heavy housework that, as we get older, become more challenging.

What’s considered light housework?

Indoors

De-junking a junk drawer

Dusting easy-to-reach shelves and cabinets

Sweeping laminate flooring

Scrubbing out sinks

Cleaning the refrigerator and microwave

Outdoors

Sweeping walkways

Planting flowers in raised garden beds

Refilling bird seed containers

Watering shrubs

What’s considered heavy housework?

Indoors

Scrubbing floors and grout

Dusting hard-to-reach areas like the top of ceiling fans or shelving

Painting walls

Hanging decorations

Rearranging furniture

Outdoors

Raking and bagging leaves

Cleaning gutters

Washing exterior windows

Repairing lawn equipment

Most yard work

Just having a better idea of what’s considered light work and heavy work is helpful to know before you create that “honey do” list.

Need extra help?

For some of us, asking family or friends for help isn’t so easy. Even though it’s not a sign of weakness or failure to ask an adult child or younger friend to come over and unclog the gutters for you, it can certainly feel like it.

One way to make it feel a little more comfortable is to follow up the chore with a favorite activity you share with the person, like watching a sports game or going out for a beer.

Sometimes, if you have the money, it can be more comfortable to hire out help for the heavy-duty chores. Common services we recommend include:

Taskrabbit – This service allows you to reserve handymen/women to come to your house to do home repairs, assemble furniture and even install things like TV wall mounts. Like reserving an Uber ride, you are charged after you’ve received the service from your task rabbit.

Angi – This is an online service that pairs you with a local handyman/woman or contractor that will come to your home and take care of whatever you might need. Angi will also gather quotes for you, so you know ahead of time what the cost is going to be.

If the idea of inviting a stranger into your home makes you nervous, the next best advice is to ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations on handymen they might hire to do similar chores at their homes.

Ready to put spring cleaning behind you?

Maybe it’s time to #GrowBolder in style (without the housework). Eventide’s Senior Living Communities offer excellent chore-free living! Schedule a tour today.