What Is Light Housekeeping, Anyway? Does It Matter?

The old adage about “a clean home being a happy home” may seem an unrealistic ideal to most of us, busy with jobs and kids and complicated daily lives. After all, it was the humorist Erma Bombeck herself who said, “my idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.” Whatever one’s standard for what constitutes a messy house, however, the challenges of maintaining even basic cleanliness in one’s home environment for a senior citizen are undeniably daunting.

Scrubbing, bending, wiping, sweeping, even seeing dust and dirt can be simply to difficult to do. For some seniors for whom keeping an impeccably clean household is an essential part of daily living, this reality is extremely disturbing. For others, who may no longer be as aware of smells and unsightly messes as they once were, the decline in a home’s appearance may not be upsetting. Instead, it becomes a bellwether of others’ neglect of their well being, posing obvious hazards and unpleasant social roadblocks to visitors and friends. Dirty dishes present health risks, dusty interiors exacerbate allergies…and the consequences become more ominous as they go along.

Having an in-home caregiver to perform the simple tasks of day to day maintenance–washing the dishes, vacuuming, making the bed or clearing the table–is not only convenient, but enormously helpful for any senior who now finds those tasks uncomfortable, if not impossible. The value of a well kept, tidy living environment cannot be overestimated, especially for an older person. Besides providing a measure of safety and hygiene, light housekeeping services also allow a senior to enjoy the comforts of home. While a senior’s motor skills or cognitive abilities may pose problems commensurate with age, their dignity remains intact. And that, in the end, is everything.