Should Family Caregivers Perform Household Chores

Should Family Caregivers Perform Household Chores

Chores can be a struggle for elderly adults. When elderly adults can’t keep up with housekeeping, or no longer wish to perform certain chores, they often turn to family members or care professionals. Some of the most common tasks seniors need help with include doing the dishes, running laundry, changing the bed, vacuuming the house, and running errands. Should Family Caregivers Perform Household Chores

When should family caregivers or care professionals help with chores for seniors? And when should seniors be handling housekeeping tasks on their own? While the answer’s not always clear cut, here are a few things to consider when it comes to elderly health and household chores.

Chores Have Risks & Benefits for Seniors

There’s a range of reasons why family caregivers should help elderly adults with chores. At the top of the list are health concerns. Chores can be physically strenuous tasks, some more so than others. Seniors with physical limitations, like limited mobility, may not be able to perform certain chores. Other health conditions can lead to safety risks. For instance, frail seniors could risk serious injury if they overexert themselves.

Lower down the list of reasons seniors may need assistance with chores is comfort. Elderly adults with arthritis, for example, may request assistance with housekeeping tasks that aggravate joint pain. Others may say that they don’t have the energy to keep up with chores any longer. Finally, there are cases of personal preference. Many older adults wish to spend less time on chores in their golden years, allowing them to spend more time on activities that bring them joy.

This is where things can get tricky for family caregivers. Why? Because chores play a crucial role in elderly health and well-being. Simple chores — like folding clothes, doing the dishes, or tidying up around the house — all count as light physical exercise. In one recent study, all it took was 30 minutes a day of light exercise to lower seniors’ risk of mortality by 12%.

Here’s where things get even more interesting. According to the study’s authors, chores accounted for more than 55% of how seniors got physical exercise. In other words, if your average senior stopped doing household chores all together, they’d get less than half as much physical activity. That’s why what is often the best solution is for family or professional caregivers to provide supportive assistance to ensure chores are being completed.

Housekeeping Guidelines for Family Caregivers

Given the above information, some family caregivers may feel uncertain or uneasy about whether or not they should help with certain housekeeping tasks. Here are some simple guidelines that you can keep in mind to simplify the issue.

  • Household chores aren’t the only way to get light physical activity. If seniors already get plenty of light and moderate exercise, they don’t need to worry as much if they stop performing chores or receive assistance to make completing chores easier.
  • Likewise, seniors who wish to perform fewer housekeeping tasks can offset the health drawbacks by taking up other forms of exercise, like walking or gardening.
  • If seniors aren’t keeping up with housekeeping tasks, it is often the healthier choice to have family or friends help to get chores completed. Healthy seniors need healthy homes, and this way, you know that chores are being completed.
  • If seniors suffer significant pain or discomfort from certain chores, family caregivers shouldn’t hesitate to perform these chores when asked.
  • It is crucial that housekeeping assistance is provided to seniors who cannot perform certain chores on their own, or who cannot perform chores safely.

If an elderly loved one requires assistance with housekeeping, family caregivers or friends may be able to perform these tasks instead. Otherwise, families may need to look into professional caregiver services.

Companion care services are a popular option in these situations. Companion care is provided by professional caregivers, who are knowledgeable in caring for elderly adults. These services typically cover tasks like helping to make meals, wash dishes, do laundry, and do light housekeeping. Companion care also provides the added benefit of friendly conversation, transportation to activities or appointments, and someone to spend time with.

To connect with a qualified companion care provider in your area, we encourage you to contact your local Visiting Angels®. Simply call 800-365-4189 today or find your local Visiting Angels office to learn more and schedule a free in-home consultation.

Should Family Caregivers Perform Household Chores

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About the Author

Richard Bitner

Visiting Angels is a national, private duty network of senior care agencies. We are proud to be the nation’s leading provider of non-medical at home care services. With our elder care services, seniors can remain independent and live safely at home. Our senior care services include Social Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, End of Life Care, Companion Care, Private Duty Care, care to prevent hospital readmission, and so much more.

Compassionate, dignified at home senior care is close to home when you connect with your local Visiting Angels office by calling 800-365-4189.

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Richard Bitner
Visiting Angels

Visiting Angels is a national, private duty network of senior care agencies. We are proud to be the nation’s leading provider of non-medical at home care services. With our elder care services, seniors can remain independent and live safely at home. Our senior care services include Social Care, Dementia Care, Alzheimer’s Care, End of Life Care, Companion Care, Private Duty Care, care to prevent hospital readmission, and so much more. Compassionate, dignified at home senior care is close to home when you connect with your local Visiting Angels office by calling 800-365-4189.

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