Cleaning your home whether done by you or someone else is a routine task that often goes unnoticed by the occupant of the house. It’s when things start to get messy and dirty that the complaints start to float in. Having someone who is terminally ill at home means this routine task needs to be thought through more carefully and attended to dutifully for the health and wellbeing of your loved one, the rest of the occupants of the house and you the caregiver.
Caring for someone who is terminally ill at home can be overwhelming even if you are not the primary caregiver and only play a supportive role or oversea tasks. You will have a lot on your plate to attend to daily and don’t want the level ofhygiene and cleanliness of your home to add to your list of concerns. Speak to your loved one’s care team to understand if there are any specific cleaning needs.Consider employing a professional cleaning service periodically and learn more about how they can help with keeping a place clean for vulnerable individuals. A clean home can prevent infection from spreading which is good for everyone in your home, particularly for the loved one you are responsible for.
Here are some things to consider when cleaning your home while caring for someone who is terminally ill.
Top to bottom approach:decluttering your home and then arranging everything in its designated place can make the cleaning process quicker and more thorough. It makes sense to clean what’s right on top like the fans and light fittings before wiping the furniture and finally vacuuming and mopping the floor. You don’t need to clean the entire house in one go if you feel you can’t handle it. Focus on the key areas used by the patient or is significant for their well-being like the kitchen and bathroom and do the rest of the rooms on another day.
Kitchen: your cleaning aim in the kitchen is to prevent foodborne illnesses or food poisoning caused by bacteria and viruses. Clean your countertops, sink and other surfaces with warm soapy water before and after using the kitchen. Kitchen floors need to be mopped weekly to keep infections at bay.
Bathroom: take extra care to wipe down and clean all surfaces of the bathroom and toilet with household cleaners, preferably green cleaners weekly. These surfaces can have the patient’s bodily fluids like sweat, urine, and vomit that can spread infection. Bathmats should be dried out every day as bacteria can grow on damp rugs.
Cleaning up after your pet: pet droppings can spread germs causing illness while pet fur and dander can cause respiratory problems. Make it a point to clear the cat litter box and bird cage liner every day. Vacuum daily if you have a dog and avoid placing litter boxes and bird cages close to the kitchen area and where the patient usually spends time.