If you are caregiving for another person in their home, you may always feel like a guest in the house despite the effort you put in to make the senior feel happy and healthy. As a caregiver you focus on the physical person and their needs, but what about the house they live in?
Often times, seniors who require care have reached a stage that their house is no longer kept well. The house they live in may be the old family home, and filled with memories and the clutter associated with it. In order for you as a caregiver to help them the best you can, you may need to reduce the overwhelming clutter and establish a household that is organised. Especially in the case that more than one caregiver may be needed to attend to the senior living there, or if the senior suffers from cognitive impairments, having an accessible, organised living space will make life easier for everyone.
If you have been welcomed into a household that needs de-cluttering, here is where you can start:
- Sort the piles: There may be piled up papers, letters, documents, etc that will appear overwhelming, especially to you and the senior. Sort through these piles to find what needs attending to, and what you no longer require. Check the dates.
- Establish what has use, and what is useless: Check for old food in the kitchen, unnecessary items in the washroom (especially expired prescriptions!), belongings of family members who are moved out or deceased, household items that no longer work, and clothes that are no longer worn. Play ‘toss or keep’ with everything!
- Everything in its proper place: If there are items causing clutter because they don’t have a ‘spot’, they need to find a spot. If there isn’t one, then you probably don’t need the item around at all.
- Get organised: Visit an organising shop and equip the home with all of the proper infrastructure: clear bins, labels, shelving, hooks, etc.