Senior House Cleaning: Keeping Our Senior Homes Clean
Winter is coming and many seniors are searching for safe, affordable ways to get their homes cleaned during the colder months. Some seniors live in apartments, condominiums or communities where cleaning services are included. Many others live in regular housing and need to hire independent services on their own.
Why is safety an extra concern for seniors hiring cleaning services this winter? Flu-season is a perpetual part of winter months. Seniors with underlying conditions are always careful to prevent infections of any kind, including the flu. The winter of 2020 adds the dangerous novel coronavirus to the list of worries for seniors as well. While COVID-19 has a global impact on multiple millions of people, seniors are high-risk for contracting it. Letting random people into their homes with no proof of testing is a valid concern.
This is a real quandary to be solved for many seniors. Physical limitations prevent many from being able to do the jobs themselves. How can people 55+ find safe professional cleaning services this winter? Read ahead to discover safe senior house cleaning services in 2020 during COVID-19.
What Do Professional Cleaning Services Do?
A professional cleaning service engages in a variety of tasks. Services can be provided same-day, by individual appointment or on a recurring basis. Vacuuming, dusting and sweeping/mopping floors are typical tasks completed by a house cleaner during one visit. Other tasks handled by a house cleaning service can include:
- Taking out the trash.
- Sanitizing doorknobs, cabinet handles, countertops, surfaces.
- Washing, drying and putting away dishes.
- Cleaning and disinfecting the toilet, tub, shower and bathroom sink.
Additional tasks can include cleaning laundry, linens and making the beds. More specialized tasks involve help with moving, shampooing rugs and cleaning windows, all for an additional charge. Cleaning services write checklists including every task needing to be completed each visit. Checklists can be customized per household and seniors requiring special cleaning tasks are advised to consult with the service manager or salesperson prior to hiring.
How Seniors Can Prepare Houses for Cleaning Services
There is no reason to clean your house before having someone else service it, but certain preparatory tasks can be done in advance. These tasks are overall not physically burdensome and can be easily handled by most seniors without assistance. The point of preparing houses in advance of a cleaning service arriving is to help ensure the job is done properly in an efficient amount of time. This means cleaning up clutter blocking pathways for vacuum cleaners, or picking up laundry from the floor and placing it in a hamper. It can also involve taking stacks of paper off coffee tables or countertops. Another preparatory option is to make sure all dishes are in the kitchen and not strewn about the house.
House Cleaning During COVID-19
There are seemingly endless ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected life in 2020. It is also forecast to significantly complicate the upcoming winter by coupling the virus with regular flu season issues. States each have their own guidelines, rules and regulations regarding COVID-19 and human interaction. Seniors especially have to follow them due to being in a standout high-risk group.
Following overall mandates as directed by the CDC is the first way for seniors to keep themselves safe this winter. The CDC has a list of links to health departments for each U.S. state and territory. It also provides a comprehensive list of guidance documents, which can be helpful in numerous ways for a variety of circumstances. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials also has a dedicated section containing all state COVID-19 mask regulations and mandates.
On a more house-specific level, additional precautions can be taken be seniors hiring cleaning services this winter. Going to another location or building during the cleaning visit may not be an option due to adverse weather conditions and, of course, COVID. The following are things seniors can do to stay as safe as possible when cleaners are in their homes:
- Use hand sanitizer before, during and after the visit.
- Wear a mask at all times during the visit.
- Demand each cleaner wears a mask.
- Avoid being in the same room as the cleaner.
- Wipe down frequently-touched and/or more personal items with a bleach-based disinfectant before and after the visit.
Asking the Right Safety Questions
While states have lifted stay-at-home orders, it is possible they will be re-implemented during the winter if COVID spikes severely again like in early 2020. Seniors need to take extra steps for safety regardless of mandates. While Dr. Fauci allows house cleaners into his home during the pandemic, it is only after taking specific precautions.
First, ask the service manager if each cleaner and/or the business are insured for entry. Ask if all cleaners are fully equipped with masks, gloves and other COVID-approved safety gear. Make sure the cleaners understand masks and gloves must be worn at all times while in the house. Also ask if cleaning solutions approved for killing COVID on surfaces will be used.
Seniors have the right to demand all cleaners put on new shoe covers before entering their houses. Make sure all cleaning tools, vacuums included, are fully cleaned and disinfected between serving each house. Gloves should be removed outside and/or in the safest ways possible. Cleaning gear, protective gear and disposable items used by the cleaners should be disposed of outside, no exceptions. Finally, and most importantly, seniors have every right to ask if all cleaners are test (or rapid tested) for COVID-19 on a daily basis before being sent on jobs. If not, there is no reason to allow them entry.
Best House Cleaning Services for Seniors in 2020
Yelp and Angie’s List are two great ways to ascertain the safeness, quality and professionalism of local house cleaning services in consideration for hire. Real customer reviews are posted on those sites. Care.com is site dedicated to helping find services with a focus on senior needs. Other recognizable and popular cleaning services for seniors include…