May is Clean Air Month and if you notice your mother’s house is getting dirty, something that is completely out of the ordinary for her and her personality, it could be due to several factors. One of them is an increasing inability on her part to keep up with the cleanliness.
As people age, face certain health issues, or are losing strength simply due to the natural process of aging, they might not clean as often as they used to. Walking around or staying on her feet for too long can cause balance related issues.
Your mother might not be able to push that clunky, bulky vacuum around like she used to. Or maybe she is becoming more forgetful, not really concerned so much about the dusting, washing the clothes, and doing other things, like dishes, that used to be so diligent on her part.
What could be the cause of this? Many things. It could be mental decline. It might simply be the natural process of aging that is taking a toll on her physical abilities. It could also be some other health issues.
If you have concerns that something beyond physical decline is happening, encourage her to visit her doctor for proper diagnosis. In the meantime, sit down and talk to her about what you observed and recommend a home care aide to help every once in a while.
Is a dirty home really a big deal?
Most people don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but when you realize what dust is and that germs, bacteria, mites, and other foreign particles, including allergens, hide in those dust bunnies and piles on the shelves, tables, and furniture, you realize it can really be a big deal.
A person who perpetually lives in a filthy environment may develop lung related issues, asthma, or other allergic reactions. The older a person is, the less effective their immune system will be to fighting off bacteria, germs, and other infections.
So, yes, a dirty home can be a significant problem for somebody who already is susceptible to these conditions. If you notice your mother’s health isn’t quite the same as it used to be, her hygiene is going down, and the home around her is being neglected, find out why.
Also recommend home care for her.
How could home care help?
While a home care aide is not a cleaning person, these caregivers can assist your elderly mother in keeping her home cleaner than she can by herself these days. They might be able to help with the vacuuming, laundry, and light dusting.
They will often, as long as the aging client can do so, work alongside your mother. If your mother needs a cleaning service, though, because she either doesn’t want to bother anymore or simply can’t do it, then that is also another option to consider.
If she has reached that point when she can no longer keep her home clean, home care can help her maintain the quality of life she wants and also help her keep a cleaner, safer home environment.