I’ve been thinking about my more (ahem) “senior” patients 😊 who are isolating at the moment – especially those who normally have support with their cleaning and housework and are now having to manage it on their own. Housework can be quite physically demanding. It’s tough not to be able to support you with hands-on treatment right now, but I thought it might be worth sharing a few tips and ideas about how to manage…
Cleaning – make your life easier
Break it up – choose just one or two jobs in a day to do, rather than trying to clean the whole house on one particular day.
Make it easy – if the vacuum cleaner is too heavy for you, invest in a push-along carpet sweeper which will keep things tidy for now. Use a long-handled dustpan rather than having to bend to the floor. Have a step to hand so you can reach onto shelves / cupboards easily. If possible, keep cleaning equipment on each floor of the house so you’re not having to carry things up and down the stairs.
Changing the bed linen – this can be a particularly tough job when it involves tucking linen under a heavy mattress, or changing a duvet cover. Consider laying a flat sheet over your normal sheet and just tucking it at the sides – that way it can just be pulled off and replaced as needed. You can do the same with a flat sheet under your duvet so you don’t have to change the duvet cover.
Bathrooms – a quick wipe round with a microfibre cloth after use will prevent build-up of scum and scale. A squirt of shower spray can stop water marks forming without the need for rinsing or scrubbing.
Ironing or prepping in the kitchen – if standing to do these jobs makes your back ache and it’s not practical to sit, try perching on the edge of a seat or stool. Or rest one foot on a low block or book while you’re standing (as long as you can balance ok). Swap feet every few minutes so you change weight from side to side. Or, while standing, circle your hips (like slow hula-hooping!) as this will help mobilise your back and stop you getting too stiff.
Loading – carry laundry in small batches. Use a low chair or perch when loading and unloading the washing machine and dishwasher. If you have a wheeled trolley, use it to unload the crockery from the dishwasher onto, then wheel it to the cupboards to put the dishes away.
Don’t aim for perfection – try not to worry too much about the way the house looks! It’s not going to be on show for a while, and when it is, you’ll be back to your normal routine!