As people grow older, their physical and cognitive abilities begin to decline. They may no longer be able to safely complete certain activities to maintain the home, from clearing the gutter to cleaning the bathroom. However, seniors can safely perform the following chores to stay active.
Household chores are a necessary and important part of maintaining a home. Older adults, however, may be challenged physically or cognitively in completing some of them. Arthritic fingers can make scrubbing the bathtub a near-impossibility. Similarly, cooking is exhausting for seniors with fatigue.
Basic tasks like these are among the many chores that are required for the proper upkeep of a home. Since the majority of older adults prefer to age in place, caregivers must determine which chores they can handle safely. Plus, seniors’ well-being is enriched when they complete household tasks.
How does completing chores benefit the elderly?
Older adults are likely to have spent a lifetime performing ordinary chores to keep the household clean and well-managed. But as they age, they may no longer be able to do some of these tasks. As a result, these seniors begin to experience low self-esteem and a loss of energy.
Caregivers who assign their elderly loved ones a range of non-risky household chores give them an opportunity to feel greater self-worth and value. Aging people who perform a set of regular chores feel more confident and live with greater purpose.
Furthermore, seniors’ brains benefit from the light physical activity of doing chores. Greater brain volume, especially in the hippocampus (which plays a large role in memory and learning) and frontal lobe (which is involved in cognition), is observed in these active older adults.
Completing chores is believed to have the same effects on heart and blood vessels as engaging in light aerobic exercise. Seniors who actively perform chores are less sedentary (being sedentary adversely effects brain health). New neural connections also form when seniors organize their chores.
What chores can seniors safely perform?
The safest chores for seniors are those that are low-impact and that do not require significant physical exertion. Caregivers are advised to assign their elderly care recipients, especially those with mobility issues, chores that can be done either seated or standing.
1. Folding Laundry
Rudimentary household chores include laundry. Folding laundry, a basic task, is ideal for older adults who have difficulty standing for prolonged periods. The light activity of folding dinner napkins or clothing can be done seated and is recommended for seniors with balance issues.
2. Dusting and Vacuuming
Dusting keeps seniors active. Seniors should use a damp cloth when dusting to avoid breathing in dust particles. Vacuuming is another light chore that can be safely done when the vacuum is held close to the body; this prevents a strain on the senior’s back and shoulders.
3. Kitchen Help
Invite the aging loved one into the kitchen to help prepare food. Seniors can knead bread, which is not only a safe activity but provides a vigorous workout. Kneading is a good exercise for the hands and fingers and keeps their motor skills in top shape.
4. Dog Walks
The family dog must be walked daily, and an aging loved one can be the right person to handle this task. Walking is a gentle exercise that builds strength in the senior’s leg muscles. Strong leg muscles in turn protect the elderly from falls.
Gardening provides numerous health benefits. Exposure to sunshine and breathing in fresh air do wonders for an individual’s health. Give an elderly care recipient the task of watering the garden or the lawn. While they are outside, ensure they remain adequately hydrated and wear sun protection.
6. Mowing the Lawn
Older adults who boast physical fitness may be ideal candidates for mowing the lawn. Using a push mower requires physical stamina, but almost anyone can manage the task of cutting the grass with a riding lawn mower. Caregivers must exercise caution as the senior performs this activity.
What chores are unsafe for seniors?
Some household chores are unsafe for seniors to handle alone. Tasks that require climbing a ladder can be perilous for older people. Cleaning windows or changing light bulbs are examples of risky activities. If the senior must do these tasks, ensure they are accompanied.
Cleaning the bathroom is likewise not advised for older adults. Aging skin is thinner and more fragile; the elderly are susceptible to rashes, skin irritations and chemical burns when they work with chemical cleaning products. Plus, a high level of physical exertion is required to bend and scrub.
Do not allow them to perform home repairs, which can be dangerous. If a chore is expected to extend for hours and cause exhaustion, hire a professional to do the job. Lifting heavy objects should be prohibited in the aging population as it can intensify chronic pain or cause injury.
Older adults may need extra support to age in place. Help with household chores that seniors cannot or are not advised to handle on their own can be obtained from reputable elder care agencies, like Assisting Hands Home Care. We promote the overall health of seniors in our care.
Professional caregivers are instrumental in keeping the senior’s home hygienic and comfortable. We perform light housekeeping tasks and remove clutter; our efforts prevent trips and falls. Grocery shopping, meal preparation, medication reminders, and transportation are included in our care services.
Social engagement is vital to the health of older people, and our pleasant companionship keeps them active and stimulated. Caregiver responsibilities extend to personal hygiene tasks, such as help with showering, dressing, grooming, and toileting. We cover the holistic needs of seniors in our care.
Senior home care from Assisting Hands Home Care in Park Ridge, Illinois, is encouraged. Our caregivers are sensitive to the needs of the elderly and motivate them stay active in life. Schedule a free in-home consult today and learn how we can support your aging loved one.