STAYING INDEPENDENT

Looking after your home

"I want to know what help is available to me to manage my home."

Keeping your home clean

Keeping your home clean and tidy has many benefits to your health and wellbeing. Not only will your mood be better in a clean and uncluttered environment, but you’re less likely to pick up germs and illnesses in your every day life. Allergy and asthma symptoms will be reduced too.

Cleaning tips

Most people do not enjoy cleaning and getting started can feel quite overwhelming especially if you have other things to do, or you struggle with mobility. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Try giving yourself short targets, for example set a timer for 10 minutes and just do what you can in that time, when the buzzer goes off allow yourself to rest for a while, then have another go.
Break up the work into small, manageable chunks and focus on one thing at a time. For example, just do the dusting in 1 room, or on 1 floor of your home. Then tackle the vacuum cleaning another time.
Clean from top to bottom so the dust and dirt doesn’t fall onto surfaces you have already cleaned.
Work around a room in one direction rather than cleaning randomly. This will not only mean you are moving less, but you’ll be less likely to forget to clean something.
Stick to the same few cleaning products so you have less to carry round. A good all-purpose cleaning product will do most of the work for you and reduce scrubbing time.
Choose the right tools for you. Look for 1 or 2 versatile tools that are built to clean multiple areas. If you are in a wheelchair, or struggle with pain to reach difficult nooks and crannies, invest in long-handled brushes and mops. Read more about finding the right living aids and equipment for you.
Write things down. Not only will this help you to keep track of what you’ve done but it’ll help you to see what you have achieved. Doing it this way, rather than creating a to do list, can be less stressful as you only see what you have done and not what you haven’t.
Clean as often as you can. This will stop dirt and grime building up which is harder to remove.

Getting help with cleaning

If you need support to keep on top of your cleaning, here are a few options for you to consider:

  • Talk to family and friends - ask the people in your support network to help out with the chores you can’t tackle. It can be difficult to ask for help, but they are likely to be happy to pitch in, and you can always negotiate doing something for them in exchange.

  • Hire a cleaner - this could be for regular weekly or fortnight visits, or just a one-off declutter and spring clean.

  • Employ a home help - this is someone who spends time with you in your home on a regular basis to help with household tasks.

Hiring a cleaner

A cleaner in East Yorkshire typically costs between £10 and £20 an hour. The rate will vary based on whether they are independent or employed by a agency, and how regularly you have your home cleaned.

How to find a cleaner

The best way to find a cleaner is through a personal recommendation from a family member, friend or neighbour. You could also:

  • check for cleaners advertising on local groups, such as on Facebook or school groups
  • try an internet search for ‘cleaning services’ - this will return a list of local cleaning companies
  • search an online marketplace, such as bark.com, to find local professionals in your area, and request a quote.

Our checklist for finding a cleaner

Here are some things you can do that will help you find the right cleaner for you:

Think about the tasks that are important to you

You may not be able to afford to pay them to clean your whole home, but you could ask them to focus on the rooms you use most often, or the tasks you are more likely to struggle with, such as vacuuming, changing the bed or cleaning the oven.

Arrange a walkthrough

Before hiring a cleaner or cleaning company, advise them on what jobs you’d like done and ask them to give you a walkthrough of how they will approach it. Once they have seen your home, they’ll have a better idea of how long they’ll need and be able to give you a more accurate quote. Don’t forget to tell them about any items that need special care, such as family antiques.

Ask for references

As you are letting someone into your home, you need to know that you can trust them. Ask for references from their other customers. If they will be working in a home where there are children or vulnerable adults, we strongly recommend that you request a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Learn more and request a DBS check on the GOV.UK website.

Check equipment and cleaning supplies

Ask the cleaner or cleaning company if they will be using their own cleaning products and equipment or if they expect you to provide them. Most cleaners use their own preferred and tested products, but if you’d prefer them to use your own, or have any allergies or intolerances to products, make sure you let them know.

Understand their rates of pay

Some cleaners charge a flat rate of pay and work quickly to get the job done, then leave when it is finished. Others charge by the hour so you’d expect them to stay for the full period you are paying them for.

Preparing for your cleaner’s visit

To make the most of the time that you cleaner is in your home, here are some thing you can do to prepare:

  • Keep surfaces and floors as clutter free as possible. Moving things from one place to another takes up precious cleaning time.
  • Wash the dishes and put away the pots if you can, this means your cleaner can concentrate on the tasks you can’t do.
  • Put away your personal items in bedside drawers and bathroom cabinets.
  • Make sure dirty clothes are stored out of sight in a laundry bin.
  • Let the cleaner know if you have any pets, and where they will be while they are cleaning, so they don’t accidentally let them out.

Employ a home help

A home help is someone who looks after day-to-day domestic tasks, such as:

  • cleaning
  • putting clean sheets on your bed
  • laundry
  • gardening.

This is a paid-for service, often offered by local charities or businesses.

How to find a home help

Age UK

The local Age UK service can help you find a home support worker to help with cleaning and other chores around the home. Find out more about their home support service on the Hull Age UK website.

Internet search

Try searching for ‘Home help East Riding’ on the internet to view results of local agencies offering this service.