Tackling housework can be overwhelming when you don’t have the energy or are struggling with mobility. Luckily there are ways you can stay independent and look after yourself and your home. (Although, there’s nothing wrong with hiring cleaning professionals or asking family for help!)
Superglide Stairlifts have compiled a quick list of 10 Tips for house cleaning when you have limited mobility, to help get you back into a routine. The benefits of having a clean home are not just physical but should make you feel much better mentally, too.
10. Make decluttering a priority
Starting housework can be a daunting task but decluttering your home can be an important place to start. Not only can it be broken up into multiple steps to reduce the pressure of the task, but there are some serious benefits to decluttering. Having items on or around the floor in particular can increase the risk of a fall. According to the NHS, around 1 in 3 adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will experience a fall per year. So try to tackle high-traffic areas first if you can.
9. Use a grabber to pick items up off the floor
Rather than bending down to pick items up off the floor, consider purchasing a reacher/grabber tool. They are fairly inexpensive and can save your back, hips, and knees when cleaning. Do not try to use these tools for heavy objects, but for day-to-day rubbish such as food containers, wrappers and clothing, the grabber tool is perfect.
8. Air out your home daily
If weather permits, try to air out your home for 10-15 minutes daily by opening windows and doors. Having a supply of fresh air has many benefits such as reducing cooking/pet odours, reducing dust and decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in your home. If you’re unable to air out your home often or find that you still struggle with dust settling on surfaces, try to tackle dusting once or twice a week, or purchase an air purifier.
7. Purchase a lightweight or robot vacuum cleaner
Vacuuming is one task we all dread, especially if you have a heavy, bulky vacuum cleaner. Try to invest in a lightweight vacuum cleaner. Some are even wireless and simply need to be popped on charge when you’re done. If you find vacuuming particularly difficult, you could even purchase a robot vacuum cleaner. A robot vacuum cleaner is designed to be used daily, and uses sensor technology to detect furniture and other obstacles. It is entirely automated and can even put itself on charge when it runs low. The downside of a robot vacuum cleaner is that they will require frequent emptying due to their size.
6. Check expiry dates of consumables
Checking the expiry dates of food and medication is very important to keep us healthy and safe. If standing in front of the fridge or freezer seems like an impossible task, you could use a mobility walker with a seat (sometimes called a Rollator) which can allow you to sit anywhere. Organising and cleaning your fridge and freezer is a good way to keep tabs on what food you have available so you don’t overbuy. Which in turn can save you money. Dispose of or recycle your expired medication properly. Did you know that you can return your expired medication to your local pharmacy?
5. Use a rollator
We previously mentioned the use of a rolling chair. These can be used for storage, to aid and assist walking, and even a comfy place to sit when things get a bit too much. These can be a lifesaver both out and about and in the home. If you have space to use a rollator at home, this can make it easier to move from room to room. Such as when taking laundry to and from the washing machine. A lot of these types of walkers also contain a basket which is great for transporting items around the home. If you have a stairlift, you can take a basket of laundry up or downstairs with you as long as you’re safe to do so. Make sure no clothing items hang over the side of the stairlift in order to prevent a snag.
4. Try a no-scrub cleaner
There are plenty of no-scrub cleaners on the market which are great for tackling the kitchen and bathroom. If your shower/bath is in a need of a clean, this would be perfect. Simply spray the cleaner onto the surface you wish to clean, leave it to sit for the time specified on the cleaner, and wash away using water. If you have an adjustable showerhead, then this can save you from having to bend down over the bath.
3. Use a mop or brush to clean the bathroom
Another tip for the bathroom: if you’d prefer good old-fashioned elbow grease over a no-scrub cleaner, you can use a long-handle brush or mop to scrub inside the bath; the tiles on the wall, and more. Using this technique stops you from having to climb inside the bath or bend over to scrub the bath by hand!
2. Create a cleaning schedule
Breaking down a daunting task into smaller, more managable chunks is almost always the best course of action. Remember, looking after yourself and your home is not a race. Take your time and try to stick to a routine. A little bit each day is much easier on the body and the mind than trying to tackle everything at once. On Monday, you may want to do a load of laundry. On Tuesday you may want to dust and polish. So on and so forth. If you have multiple people at home, everyone can do their part which makes everything quicker and easier!
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
As we just mentioned – if everyone does a little bit, the job will be over before you know it. If you’re able to afford it, consider hiring a professional for cleaning once or twice a year. Having a deep clean done by a professional can give your home a reset and make it more managable for you to take care of yourself going forward.