My mom says she can still clean her own house and is very proud of that fact at the age of 93. I am concerned because her opinion of clean is different than most. Her house needs a deep cleaning and not sure how to get that done without insulting her and hurting my relationship with her. Would like to hear what others have done.

Unless the house is a filthy pigsty, leave mother alone to be proud of her efforts at keeping up her own home. When you use the bathroom, clean it. When you prepare a meal in the kitchen, give it a bit more of a scrub than you ordinarily would. Then call it good.

If the house is unsanitary, buy her a cleaning service gift certificate as a gift and tell her it MUST be used or you'll lose all your $$$.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to lealonnie1

I’m sure that you don’t want to hurt her feelings but if her house is unsanitary that’s a different story.

Why not be honest with her? Tell her that you are thrilled that she is doing so well but that at 93 years old she doesn’t have to work so hard anymore.

Tell her that she has earned the right to hire a housekeeper to clean. That is a polite way of saying that her housekeeping isn’t up to par.

Say that you don’t like seeing her work so hard and that you are afraid of her falling and breaking bones.

Does she have a birthday coming up soon? You could give her a gift certificate for a cleaning service. Maybe she would appreciate it and would see that it’s nice to have someone else clean her house. Does she have a large home?

Good luck!
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I have had some smart too late thoughts over this. When my mother was about your mother's age. I talked her into letting a gal from her church who needed money clean her house. My mistake was letting mom stay there while the gal worked. Mom would say, "Don't do that , I'll do it tomorrow." Until the poor gal had nothing to do. Looking back, I should have found a way to get her out of the house while the girl was there.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to MaryKathleen

A few years ago I realized that my very elderly Aunties in FL (and I am in MN) needed more help around the house they shared (my local cousins alerted me to this).

The one without dementia was very stubborn about it so we had a discussion that went something like this:

"It's not a crime or a sin to need more help doing stuff. If I could wave a magic wand and have my tiled shower stalls cleaned by someone, I'd probably kiss the feet of that genie. If you could unload 1 or 2 tasks, what would they be?"

She did eventually confess to struggling with certain things. I told her I'd make all the prep to get it done for her and the minute she had enough of doing it herself, she just had to tell me and I'd pull the trigger and put it in motion for her. She called me about 4 months later and asked for more help.

I have nothing against honesty but sometimes what works is schmooze and some patience. Otherwise a senior can feel like someone is coming at them like a wave and they already have trouble with change.
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Reply to Geaton777

The way is sure and certain gentle HONESTY. There is no way around that need in life.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
Beatty Jan 10, 2024
Honesty is the best policy, agreed.
Those with common sense will appreciate & respect it.

One of my relations spoke up about 'a few small leaks' & we discussed continence pant styles. She was pleased to know solutions & products were so readily available.

However, another relative was a 'care refuser'. No don't need any help to clean or shower. No amount of discussing the visibly dirty home or stale body odour worked. Had to arrange cleaner & personal care by stealth.
Your Mom may be at the point where she wants to believe she's still "independent" but now is going to require people orbiting and helping in order for her to remain in her home.

I was going to suggest contacting social services for her county to see if she qualifies to some in-home help. They can provide food prep and help with hygiene and light housework but you mentioned "deep clean" and they won't do this.

Just how dirty is her house? If she always had an antiseptic house (like my Mom the RN) then consider having different expectations now, as long as it isn't unhealthy or unsafe.

If you think that she will resist a cleaning service to come in to do a deep clean, you may exhaust yourself fighting this battle. Is her home down-sized so that her main living happens in just a few rooms? I'd start with "organizing and downsizing" with her to get things under control. If she agrees to it.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Geaton777

One of my relatives changed one visit a week from just SOCIAL to a HELP visit. Each Xday I'll help you do the bigger tasks eg mop floors, change bed linen.

Then, delegated it on..
"Guess what I found out? The Council has a low cost cleaning service. They have a person to come on Xday to help with those bigger tasks. Now that would be *smart, *economical, *useful."(insert whatever term you prefer)
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Beatty

Why don't you offer to pay for a cleaning service to come in once a week or every other week, and tell your mom that at her age she deserves a break and you just wanted to do something nice for her that might make her life a little easier?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to funkygrandma59
Tiredniece23 Jan 15, 2024
Woo wee! Cleaning service to come in once a week or even every other week is expensive. I had my aunt's house cleaned because it was a filthy mess and they charged me $1500.00. Then additional because of the human waste all over the carpet and bed mattresses in every room. I thought all us cousins would gather to pay it, but it fell on me. The next few days, aunt dropped a bomb on the carpet. I don't have that type of money to have it cleaned as often and because they're elderly, it will be a filthy mess again in no time.
Offer her a gift of occassional deep cleaning by an outside service, just as a help with the "heavier" things like when furniture needs to be moved or with heavy scrubbing of kitchen or bathroom. I manage basic clean up myself but would not be insulted by someone coming in once-in-a-whlle to deal with heavier jobs and I am only 80.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to RedVanAnnie

I have a horrible feeling that you would think my house also needs a ‘deep clean’. Having read descriptions of a deep clean, I know full well that I have never ever done one.

Perhaps be clearer about what you see as the problems. Is there mouldy food that isn’t being thrown out? Do the rooms smell? Is there pet poop on the floor? Is she a hoarder? Are there piles and piles of books and papers and washing that ought to be put away?

Is it just that her standards dropping a bit? Or what is badly wrong?
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

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