By Sally Perkins
There are 5.5 million seniors in the US that are over the age of 85, making this the fastest growing age group in the US. As seniors age, mobility tends to decline, and tasks like cleaning are challenging. Furthermore, despite being just 13% of the population, seniors are prescribed a third of all medications. This access to heavy medication combined with social isolation can be a toxic mix which may cause addictions to alcohol as well as prescription and recreational drugs. Many of the problems associated with addiction can be dealt with by keeping the house clean. This may mean modifying the routine to make it manageable. Here are four reasons to keep a clean house as a senior.
Reduce the Risk of Falls
If you have clutter on the floors, you could trip on it. This is especially true when visibility is low, or when you are in a rush to get to the bathroom. To minimize this hazard, you can tidy up items on the floor, such as items lining the stairs or purses and boots in the entryway. Try to keep things off of the floor with hooks, shelves or storage containers.
Cut Down On Germs
A clean house can cut down on the germs in your environment, but if you’re having difficulty keeping up with chores, consider using a personal robot to help you clean. Lower microbes mean that you’ll be presenting your body with fewer bacteria and viruses to fight off. This can help your body stay healthy and disease free. Just wipe down the counters, stove, and sink after you cook. Clean the bathroom frequently. Anti-slip mats can help you keep your footing in the tub or shower while you clean.
Have you ever noticed that you feel better in a clean house? Clutter, dust, and debris might make you feel anxious or depressed. A clean environment leads to a sense of control, calm, and happiness. The psychological benefits alone are worth the work of tidying up when you can.
Welcome Your Guests
As an older adult, social connection is key to your health. When you clean the house, you’ll be making it ready for visitors. It feels good to invite a person into a well-cared for home. If you don’t take the time to clean, you might hesitate to ask friends and family into your home. But if you are proud to show off your surroundings, you will be more likely to extend the invitation.
More and more elderly individuals are living into their eighties and beyond. Studies show that 90% of surveyed seniors plan to “age in place,” and continue living independently. Keeping a clean house as a senior has many benefits. It prevents falls and infections. It can also lead to a happier state of being and more social interaction.
Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years’ experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible.