Certain tasks become more strenuous with age, and housekeeping is high on the list. Declining strength and mobility can make what were once simply unpleasant chores, unmanageable without assistance. Housework can be challenging for older adults with mobility issues, especially those that live at home alone. It can be tempting to just give up on housework and let the place go. However, that is not a recommended course of action as an assortment of health problems can ensue.
Before letting things get too far, it is a good idea enlist the help of a home caregiver to help out with daily tasks and activities, and can assist with whatever is needed to improve overall health.
Here are some compelling reasons not to let housekeeping duties go by the wayside.
Dust Mites and Insects
Although you can’t see them, there are thousands of dust mites inhabiting various locations in your home at this very moment. Dust mites feed on dead skin and multiply rapidly when left to their own devices. They live in your bedding, furniture, carpets, and anywhere else dead skin cells are abound.
If your home is not cleaned regularly, floors and surfaces wiped and vacuumed, and bed sheets washed and changed, then you are at much higher risk for allergic reactions, asthma, and other skin and respiratory ailments.
Insect infestation can be another horrifying issue of a dirty home. Food waste and uncleaned dishes can attract a range of critters, from ants to rodents. Flies and ants are attracted to rotting garbage and tend to flock by the hordes to a filthy kitchen. Make sure to wipe down surfaces after food prep and take out the garbage regularly. That includes routinely cleaning the fridge of expired food items, leaks, and spills.
Mold and Mildew
With all the soap and water used in the shower, you would think there would be no need to clean it. This assumption is incorrect, unless you are scrubbing the tiles while you shower. Mold and mildew love moisture and there is plenty of that to be found in the bathroom. Mildew is a fungus that typically accumulates in tile grout. Mold and mildew can also appear in the basement, under the kitchen sink, and in the laundry room.
Mold can also grow on old forgotten food in the cupboard, and leftovers in the fridge.
Poor Air Quality
The longer you neglect housekeeping duties, the worse the quality of your indoor air becomes. Dust mites are one of the leading causes of allergy irritation, and more specifically their excrement. It’s not a very pleasant thought, but a dirty house has a much higher chance of making you sick.
Unchanged or clogged HVAC filters can also contribute to lousy air quality. Air filters should be changed regularly, and duct work serviced, to prevent mold, and insect and rodent infestation.
After a while of abandoning housekeeping duties, you begin to adapt to the grime and odour, not even realizing the smell emanating from your home. Once the brain adjusts to become acclimated to the smell, you will likely not be able notice it until you take a long absence from your house, and upon return you may be able to recognize the stench and mess.
Fewer House Guests
You may start to receive fewer visitors to your home, after they become weary of the dirt, smell, and clutter. Nobody is really interested in coming into an environment that is offensive to the eyes and nose, while having to move old papers and clutter just to find a spot to sit.
No one is saying that every home must be kept in pristine condition at all times, but a comfortable level of cleanliness is good for your guests as well as your health.
Making Yourself Sick
A study done on housecleaning and clutter showed that people that live in well-kept, uncluttered homes were healthier than those who were not quite so diligent with their housekeeping responsibilities. A messy home also hurts focus and productivity, and can lead to social isolation.
Long periods of living in squalor can result in a variety of health conditions that can have long lasting effects.
Digging Back Out of the Hole
Once you have let things get to a certain level of filth, it can be hard to dig your way back out, especially without help.
Before ending up in a position that compromises your health and wellbeing, there is assistance available from home caregivers that can help with regular housekeeping chores and tasks, while also providing companionship and implementing healthy lifestyle practices.