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What Is Considered "Light Housekeeping" for a Caregiver?

March 12, 2024

Stepping into the role of a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) for a loved one is often done with a heart full of love and a willingness to support them in any way you can. PCAs provide services such as:

Support with daily activities

Assistance with performing instrumental daily tasks

  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Managing money
  • Shopping for essential items
  • Performing basic household chores
  • Communicating by telephone and other media
  • Getting around and participating in the community

Help with performing health-related functions

  • Range of motion exercises
  • Seizure intervention
  • Ventilator suctioning

Assistance with performing redirection and intervention for behavior

  • Observation
  • Monitoring

As you can see from the list above, one common caregiver responsibility is light housekeeping. When a PCA performs essential household chores, this helps ensure a clean and comfortable living environment for their loved one. Light housekeeping for seniors or people with disabilities can be an excellent way to provide a sense of dignity and normalcy.

But how is "light housekeeping" defined when it comes to caregiving? Are there tasks that fall outside your expected responsibilities? Do you need help setting boundaries with your recipient of care? Today's blog will address all of these questions.

PCA holding disinfectant bottle to clean home.What Is Considered "Light Housekeeping"?

Light housekeeping involves tasks that maintain a neat and orderly living space, including:

  • Watering plants
  • Emptying trash bins
  • Dusting surfaces
  • Tidying up living areas
  • Wiping down kitchen counters and bathrooms
  • Sweeping floors
  • Doing the laundry

These tasks are essential for anyone, but they become particularly valuable for seniors or those with physical limitations who find these chores difficult or impossible to manage independently.

What Is NOT Considered "Light Housekeeping"?

Caregivers are not housekeepers or landscapers. Therefore, light housekeeping does not encompass heavy-duty tasks, such as:

  • Moving heavy furniture
  • Washing windows
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Shoveling snow

A caregiver's responsibilities also exclude anything that could be considered "deep housecleaning," such as:

  • Scrubbing baseboards
  • Cleaning appliances
  • Shampooing carpets
  • Dusting fans
  • Reorganizing closets

These activities require professional services beyond the scope of caregiving.

Male PCA sweeping floor and other light housekeeping duties for care recipient. How To Set Clear Boundaries About Your Responsibilities

Setting clear expectations and boundaries for the tasks you'll complete as a caregiver is essential, but it can sometimes feel challenging!

It's important to discuss expectations openly and on a regular basis. Talk to your recipient of care about what does (and doesn't) count as part of your caregiving responsibilities. Doing so can prevent you from feeling like you're being taken advantage of and ensure that the caregiving relationship remains healthy and positive.

Getting the Conversation Started

  • Start by having an honest conversation with your loved one about the distinction between light housekeeping tasks and those that require additional help. You can use the lists in this blog as a great starting point.
  • Emphasize the importance of these tasks in maintaining a comfortable living environment but also be clear about what exceeds the reasonable expectations for a caregiver.
  • Sometimes, it might be necessary to involve other family members in the conversation or seek professional housecleaners' services.

Your goal as a family caregiver is to support your loved one in living as independently and comfortably as possible. However, maintaining your well-being is equally important. Therefore, establish boundaries and have open conversations about the scope of your caregiving tasks.

Stay Connected to Best Care

We understand that navigating the delicate balance of caregiving can be challenging. That's why Best Care is here to help with all your questions related to family caregiving. Whether it's about understanding what is considered light housekeeping or setting clear boundaries, we're here to support you every step of the way!

Contact us directly or browse our library of caregiving resources!

Home caregiver performing light housekeeping duties.
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