At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we all were told how important it was to clean and disinfect our homes to prevent the spread of diseases. Stores barely could keep disinfectant wipes, household cleaners, and bleach on the shelves. In fact, some household cleaning items are still hard to come by. It isn't only important to clean your house for your health in a pandemic, but it should be part of your regular routine.
Clean for Your Physical Health
COVID-19 isn't the only reason you should clean for your physical health. There are bacteria and viruses lurking all over your home all the time. Every time someone touches a door handle, a cabinet, or a counter after they cough or sneeze, they are potentially spreading viruses or bacteria. When you don't clean off the handles and the cabinets and the counters regularly, the bacteria or viruses can live from a few hours to a few days on your surfaces. Faucet handles, counters, cabinets, and refrigerators in the kitchen are especially susceptible to becoming infected with bacteria. Surfaces can become contaminated by different raw foods, and cross-contamination can occur if new cutting boards are not used or surfaces are not wiped down. You wouldn't let a restaurant prepare food for your family in an unclean environment, so why would you?
When I had a family at home, I had a quick list of chores that I would do every day. I would wipe down all the counters in the kitchen and in all of the bathrooms. I also would wipe off handles that we don't think of that often, like the handle to the toilet (lots of bacteria living there). At least once a week, I would make a point to wipe off handles to the inside and outside doors, bedroom doors, and the stairway railing. I also would wipe off light switches and chairs that had hard surfaces. I'm not a clean freak, but I like to stay healthy. The same goes for laundry. Leaving laundry laying around spreads bacteria and viruses. How many times does someone sneeze into their sleeve, and then throw the dirty shirt in the laundry? That shirt potentially is carrying a virus and bacteria, and then it was just thrown among a pile of other clothes. Those clothes may be touching other things. Keeping your household clean helps prevent the spread of disease and helps keep your family healthy.
|Image by pascalhelmer from Pixabay|
Clean for Your Mental Health
Have you ever heard the phrase "a cluttered house means a cluttered mind?" I am a big believer in that theory. I don't know about you, but I notice that the more stressed or upset I am, the more it shows in my home. I can tell if something is bothering me by how clean my kitchen is especially. If I go to bed at night with dirty dishes in my sink, then someone is going to know that I had a bad day or am experiencing stress in some way. Then, in the morning, when I wake up and see those dirty dishes, I am even more stressed because I am starting my day off looking at the dirty dishes in my sink from the day before. I like starting my day with a nice clean counter and having everything ready to go to make my breakfast in the morning.
I also believe in the general tenets of feng shui design. I like to create a peaceful, harmonious space at home. I don't want to wake up and see clutter and a big mess at the end of my bed or in my kitchen or step over a big pile of who knows what when I walk down the stairs. I believe that when you see those piles of clothes or dirty dishes or clutter, then you internalize that into your mind. Those things start to clutter your mind and slowly stress you out. You may not even realize what is happening. Still, every time you see that thing that needs to be done and you don't do it, you are making either a conscious or subconscious note about it. It's one more thing that you have to do that isn't getting done, and it starts to add more stress to your life. Likewise, I believe how your home looks is a reflection of what is happening in your mind. As I stated earlier, my home is more likely to be disorganized or haphazard the more I am feeling that way. The other thing about cleaning is that it gives me a sense of accomplishment. Every day I like to start with making my bed or cleaning out the dishwasher. That way, I at least can say that I accomplished something that day when I first woke up.
If You Need Help
Of course, there are professional cleaning services you can hire if you need someone to help you clean your house. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford those services, even in the best of times. If someone you know is eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, they may be able to receive cleaning services as part of their insurance coverage. Medicare covers home care services, such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry for individuals who are homebound. They must be receiving care from a doctor and the care must be part of the overall health care plan. This may be a good option for patients or family members who have suffered a stroke, experience vertigo due to heart conditions or other illnesses, suffer from dementia, or a variety of other health conditions.
Under Medicaid, patients may receive personal care services. Personal care services are used to assist individuals who cannot perform the regular activities of daily living in their home due to physical or mental disabilities, which may be temporary or permanent. These personal care services range from cooking, light housework, grocery shopping, and helping with daily hygiene. Again, personal care services must be properly documented and recommended by a health care professional. The purpose of providing personal care services under Medicaid is to allow patients to live at home and be independent for as long as possible.
Medicare.gov. The Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare. Home Health Services. Found online at: https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/home-health-services
CMS.gov. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Personal Care Services. Found online at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare-Medicaid-Coordination/Fraud-Prevention/Medicaid-Integrity-Program/Education/Personal-Care-Services
CMS. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Personal Care Services. Preventing Medicaid Improper Payments for Personal Care Services. November 2017. Found online at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare-Medicaid-Coordination/Fraud-Prevention/Medicaid-Integrity-Education/Downloads/pcs-prevent-improperpayment-booklet.pdf