Eighty percent of older adults live alone and prefer it that way. Your mom is one of them. Have you considered the difficulty she has with housekeeping tasks when she lives alone?
One study looked at adults aged 65 or older to determine which tasks were the most difficult for them to manage on their own. The responses were overwhelming and 70% of the most difficult chores involved indoor housekeeping. The chores that proved the most difficult were:
- Changing the sheets
- Cleaning the toilet
- Doing the laundry
- Taking out the garbage
- Vacuuming carpets
- Washing dishes
All of these are tasks that someone else could do. If your mom simply needs some help as she completes the steps involved, that’s always an option. With caregivers, your mom’s home is clean and organized without the stress she feels doing some things independently.
What’s Making It Harder for Her?
Why is your mom having a harder time with some chores? For many older adults, arthritis pain can be limiting. Stiff joints make it hard to bend, squat, or stay in one position for an extended period. If the joints in the hands are still, picking up or holding an item like a cleaning brush can be tough.
Lifting and carrying a vacuum from one floor to the next can be difficult if you have balance issues. Balancing the vacuum while you vacuum each step is even tougher. She may be able to vacuum once it’s up there, but someone needs to carry it for her.
Is your mom’s vision worsening? It’s hard to scrub all of the grime from a plate if you can’t see well. A dishwasher is ideal for making sure dishes are properly sanitized, but not every home has a dishwasher.
Does your mom find it impossible to change her sheets? Pulling the sheet tight over a corner can be hard at any age. If your mom sleeps on the same sheets for months until you visit, it’s time to hire home care.
Health issues like COPD, heart disease, and cancer can all drain your mom of energy. She has the energy to do one thing each day. That means the other household chores are ignored, and by the time she thinks she has the energy to do them, they’re overwhelming.
Talk to Your Mom
Have an open and honest talk with your mom. If she’s having a harder time keeping up with chores, find ways to help her. Elder care aides are an excellent way to have people available to clean her home while leaving the tasks she likes to do.
Elder care is available as often as you need it. It’s available once a week, a few times a week, or every day. Talk to an advisor to learn more.